Today’s verse is one I try to remember daily when I am going through the motions of life, asking myself “is it beneficial”? 1 Corinthians 6:12 says: “‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible for me,’ but I will not be mastered by anything” (CSB). This verse says not all things are beneficial, not all things are good, not all things are helpful.
This is something we need to ask because it matters greatly. The second part of the verse notes the declaration, “I will not be mastered by anything.” It can also be read as “I must not become a slave to anything.” This particular verse is part of a passage where Paul is talking to the people of Corinth about the dangers of using our freedom just because we can. He is talking about things that are allowed and accepted but that could be a problem in some cases..
Food is good and we need food to live but too much food is a detriment to our health, and some of us are sadly controlled by food. Trust me, I’ve been there. A glass of wine is good but if you need to drink a bottle of wine before bed, it is controlling you. Sex is good when it’s as God intended, but this too can become your master.
This question of “is it beneficial” can be used for other things. Remember, the discussion itself is about misusing our Christian liberties. We may be free to do something, but that doesn’t mean it’s the beneficial and right thing to do in life. James 3:8 notes that we cannot tame the tongue. When you are thinking of words to speak, you can ask if it is beneficial. We are permitted to speak. We have free speech. But are the words you say going to be beneficial? Are you speaking life? Would anything good or helpful come out of what you are going to share with another? This is something that matters.
We have a lot of freedoms. Let us not let our freedoms lead us to be slaves. Keep asking the question— is it beneficial? Is it helpful? Everything is permissible, but let us not take this freedom for granted. Let us not allow ourselves to stumble into a trap. We are free. Do not use your freedom to cover up for evil (1 Peter 2:16). Do not use your freedom to do whatever you want (Galatians 5:13). Stand firm my friends!