We forget how connected we are in life. Remember, we were made to be communal beings. In America, there is this individualism that is taught. It is all about independence from others with a me, myself, and I perspective. It’s my right, my liberty, my freedom. This is why it’s difficult to travel in roundabouts in my area. We all think we deserve the right to be first so we do not yield to others.
Now please don’t get me wrong. I am all for liberty and freedom. I know that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The real hang up most people have is grasping the communal perspective of life and understanding you can still have the liberty while also choosing what may be in the best interest of someone else. In 1 Corinthians, we read: “You say, ‘Under grace there are no rules and we’re free to do anything we please.’ Not exactly. Because not everything promotes growth in others. Your slogan, ‘We’re allowed to do anything we choose,’ may be true—but not everything causes the spiritual advancement of others.So don’t always seek what is best for you at the expense of another…Follow my example, for I try to please everyone in all things, rather than putting my liberty first. I sincerely attempt to do anything I can so that others may be saved” (10:23-24, 33 TPT).
What Paul is saying here is that there is freedom — we have the freedom — but we need to be careful how we use that freedom. People were using their freedom in ways that would have a negative impact on others. Maybe you hear this and you say, “Well, it doesn’t impact me so I don’t care.” The issue is that we are all impacted when something impacts another believer. Remember, we are ONE BODY. If we are one body — the body of Christ — it means that we are interconnected. We work together. We do life together. You wouldn’t go get a back massage from the local masseuse and then take a hammer and smack your toes.
Even when all else fades away and there’s a new heaven and a new earth, we will still be doing life together. Some choices we make impact others in a negative way. Some decisions, some actions, some words, etc. do not promote growth in others. Some things we do or say might seem best for us, and yet they are at the expense of another so in the long run, it’s not fruitful. As verse 33 notes, it’s all about others being saved. We don’t want that be a stumbling block to someone’s salvation because of our words or deeds. We don’t want to be so selfish and self-centered that we neglect the Great Commission. We are meant to build each other up, to walk with each other, to rejoice together, to weep together, to each have our eyes forever fixed on Jesus. The more we invest in each other, the greater result for the Body. Together, we have the choice of being a well-oiled machine or a jalopy.
Father God, we ask that You unite us together through Your Spirit. May we see that we are interconnected. Lord, help us to embrace, encourage, equip, and empower each other. Lord, help us to be fully present with our brothers and sister today. Help us to see each other’s perspectives. Help us to love more completely. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!