Do what is good for others, not what is good for yourself

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. (I Corinthians 10:23-24)

One thing I regularly criticize on this blog is overly judgmental attitudes among Christians. We need to be careful not to be always criticizing or harassing our brothers and sisters about their lifestyle decisions. They have much freedom in Christ to behave as they honestly believe is right, and therefore we often need to give them the benefit of the doubt in many circumstances.

Nevertheless, sometimes we need to surrender some of our freedoms or rights for the benefit of other Christians. Some of our lifestyle decisions are driven purely by selfishness. We need to be sensitive how the feelings of others might be hurt by the choices we are making. We do not live in a vacuum. Everything we do affects other people.

Therefore, we need to make sure that we are always acting out of love. Christians might, in a sense, have a right to do anything that is not sin, but if we truly love each other, we will not want to do anything that is not beneficial to others. We need to be constructive, focusing our efforts on being a helpful example to those around us. We should not be living for ourselves. Our lives are not our own; they were bought by the blood of Christ. Therefore we need to serve Christ by serving others. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. Let us use our Christian rights and liberty wisely to assist and encourage others, rather than to do things that only please ourselves.

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