1 Corinthians 10:23–33 (ESV)
Do All to the Glory of God
23 “All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24 Let
no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26 For “the earth is the Lord’s,
and the fullness thereof.” 27 If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28 But
if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29 I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why
should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God,
33 just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.
In Western culture,
Christians rarely have to deal with food sacrificed to other gods, though Christians in Asia and Africa must deal with these issues directly. In either case, Paul’s instructions show that our actions communicate something about who we are to those around
us. While called to be faithful to God, we are also called to build up both our fellow Christians and, ultimately, to lead all whom we meet to Christ. Our actions tell others about who we are in Christ, giving us an opportunity to witness to His love in all
aspects of our lives. Christians are not forbidden from interacting with those who do not know Christ—far from it. By our actions and words among them we can testify to the one God and what His Son, Jesus Christ, has done for us.
I pray: Forgive my halting and hesitant witness, Lord. Guide me in every situation to “seek to save” others. Amen.
Edward A. Engelbrecht,
The Lutheran Study Bible (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House, 2009),