Monday, February 04, 2013

February 4 - Seeking the Good of Others

Today's Reading:
1 Kings 1:1-53
1 Corinthians 10:14-33
Psalm 89:19-29
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
1 Corinthians 10:23-24

23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.

Some things a person may be free to do, with a clear conscience before God, may not be beneficial. Sometimes it is wise and righteous to give up a freedom. It's not enough for a person to consider whether something is legally permissible; one must also determine whether or not such actions would be beneficial.

Christians must consider how exercising their freedoms will impact the lives of others. Before claiming a right, we must consider whether or not the exercise of that right will be beneficial or detrimental toward ourselves and toward others.

Response and Action:
Instead of merely considering whether something is legal or allowable, I will consider whether or not it is helpful. Some things are not right to do, even if they are not wrong or sinful in and of themselves. Actions must be evaluated in the context of community.

Instead of asking if something is wrong, I will ask if it is beneficial. I will consider how my actions are likely to be helpful or hurtful. Some freedoms and rights are worth setting aside if doing so will make a positive impact in my own life or the lives of others. Pursuing holiness is more important than exercising freedoms. Being a source of blessing is always better than clinging to rights.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is darkness, light. Grant that I might not so much seek to be consoled, as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved, as to love. For it is in giving we receive; it is in pardoning, we receive pardon; it is in giving that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Romans 14:19-21 
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others
by Scot McKnight

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