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All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. —1 Corinthians 10:23
I used to be one of those people who could eat whatever I wanted and never gain weight. When I was in my twenties, I would eat something called a macho combo burrito. It was the size of a sleeping bag, but I could eat it and never gain a pound. Now if I even think about a macho combo burrito, I’ll put on weight. I just can’t do what I once was able to do.
Hebrews 12:1 tells us, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us.” What may be a weight to one person isn’t necessarily a weight to others. Sometimes we’ll see another Christian doing something, and we’ll say, “Well, I’ll go ahead and do that too.” But what may not be a hindrance to another person can be a hindrance to you.
Sin is sin. And sin is the same for everyone. But there are certain things that some may have the freedom to do that others don’t have. So we have to look at those things and not simply ask whether they are permissible. We also need to ask whether they are edifying. It is not a matter of asking, “Is this allowed?” It’s a matter of asking, “Is this going to build me up?” So ask yourself that question.
The apostle Paul said, “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify” (1 Corinthians 10:23). In other words, just because something is permissible for a Christian doesn’t mean that you ought to do it. Maybe it could hurt you. Let’s run as lightly as possible in the race of life.
Used by permission from Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, PO Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514.