building up others instead of ourselves

At some point in time I wrote about building each other up while gathering together.  What I was trying to get across at that point in time was the simple truth that when we gather together for the worship of God, say a Wednesday evening or Sunday morning, that we must look beyond our needs and interests to others.  That we must move beyond American consumerism and how things benefit me to how we can serve someone else.

This morning, as my family and I were reading through our passage in 1 Corinthians 10-11, I was reminded of this truth once again.  In fact, we read in chapter 10.23-24, and 31 that “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable.  All things are lawful, but not all things build up.  Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor…Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 

What Paul is trying to say that all things are lawful for us to do, but not all things that we do are actually profitable for us to do or build us up or others.  Not only is this the case, he reminds the people who received his letter to not seek out after their own needs, their own interests, or their own desires, but to seek out the good of your neighbor.  Who is your neighbor?  In a Biblical sense, our neighbors are everybody.  Finally, everything that we do must not be done for our own honor and self, but for the glory of God. 

Ask yourselves these questions: “Am I more concerned about my own good or the good of my neighbor?,” “Am I more concerned about myself and honor rather than God and His glory?,” “Are my actions profitable and do they build up others or is what I do more about me, myself, and I?” 

Remember, I am not promoting Nike and saying, “Just Do It.”  We must always keep in front of us the grace of God that empowers us to live the life that He has called us to live.  We cannot have the Christian community that God desires for us to have apart from what He has done for us in Christ Jesus. 

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