1 Corinthians 6:12 - “Everything is permissible for me” - but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me” - but I will not be mastered by anything.
What is right and wrong? This is a question that we have all asked ourselves. As a Christian what is ok for me to do? Obviously there are some things that are clear as Jesus told us to Love God and Love people. In doing this He told us we would be fulfilling all of the law and the prophets. But what about that other stuff? What about those things that do not harm you or others? There are things like drinking, smoking, and watching movies that have been at the front of these conversations in the church for years.
Paul answers the question here. “Everything is permissible for me.” Paul says that all things are ok, but then he takes it a step further. He says, “Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial” then continues, “Everything is permissible for me, but I will not be mastered by anything.”
As we ask the question, “Is it ok to do this?” Paul turns it back on us and says, “Sure, it is ok, but will it benefit you?” Basically Paul is telling us to stop arguing amongst each other and make a decision for ourselves.
It is no longer a question of whether you can or cannot do something, but why are you doing it. Will something good come as a result of your actions? That is what we must ask ourselves when we are contemplating doing something. It comes down to a heart attitude. Even though your actions make look pure God looks at the heart; the motives behind the actions (Proverbs 16:2).
We must weigh the consequences of our actions, not only in our own lives, but also in the lives of those around us. If our actions cause another to stumble then it is sin. If there is a question in your mind whether something is good or not you probably already have the answer. Meaning that if it is not clearly beneficial it is probably worth avoiding.