Profitable (1 Corinthians 6:12)

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.

1 Corinthians 6:12

The freedom of the believer in Christ is enormous. While there are those who want to bring us back into bondage to a list of “Do”s and “Do Not”s, the thrust of salvation is freedom. We are free from sin and free to serve God. What this looks like might vary wildly between believers and I need to be mindful of that. Everyone’s relationship with God is personal, but everyone’s relationship with God must also adhere to His revealed Word.

So, if my brother-in-Christ (BIC) has no compunctions about having a beer now and again and he is not drunk, then he is exercising his freedom in Christ. If my BIC feels the desire to work out and maintain an extraordinarily fit physique and fitness does not become an idol to him, then he is exercising his freedom in Christ and I need to accept that. However, if my BIC drinks until he is drunk, then he is enslaved to alcohol and that is not freedom in Christ. If my BIC makes fitness his idol and it interferes with his ability to worship God, then he is worshiping an other god and is not free in Christ, but enslaved to that other thing.

It may not be readily apparent to me which is the case — freedom in Christ or bondage to something — but I should think the best of my BIC and should pray that the best God has for him is precisely what is happening. There is another side to this coin — the freedom to refrain from exercising my freedom in order to keep my BIC from stumbling — but that is a whole other topic for a whole other verse and devotional time.

Let me think the best of my brothers and sisters in Christ and pray that God will keep them — as He is well able to do — from falling back into bondage to anything.

While all things are lawful … not all things are profitable. Let me, for my own part, seek to be free in the things that are profitable. While I may be free to have a beer — there is no Law against it in The Bible — it may not be the best use of my freedom in Christ. While I may be free to go to the gym and seek to be physically fit, that takes time away from other things and may not be the best use of my time — I only have 24 hours’ worth each day. Let me seek the things that are profitable and will lead to a more Christlike character being formed in me.

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