Right or Wrong?

Today’s reading:  Isaiah 33-35, 1 Corinthians 6

Rationalize – to think about or describe something (such as bad behavior) in a way that explains it and makes it seem proper, more attractive, etc (Britannica Dictionary).

Do you ever find yourself rationalizing your actions?  It is Monday morning and your kids wouldn’t get out of bed on time, so it’s okay for you to be grumpy and late for everything.  My teenagers were always especially good at rationalizing poor grades in school.  The teacher who hadn’t taught them what they needed to know for the test was always the reason they had received a poor grade…it was never because they chose not to study!

Rationalizing behavior is nothing new.  In 1 Corinthians, the church was using their freedom in Christ to rationalize their sins.  Specifically they were claiming that 1) because Jesus had taken away all sin, they had the freedom to live their life as they pleased, and/or 2) because scripture did not strictly prohibit certain activities, they were okay to do them.

The Apostle Paul addressed the validity of this reasoning in 1 Corinthians 6, our scripture for today.  His messages are as relevant for us as they were for Christfollowers in the first century.

  • Jesus takes away our sin when we put our faith in him, but that doesn’t give us the freedom to keep on doing things we know are wrong.
  • While some activities are not sinful in their own right, they are in appropriate because they can control us and lead us away from God.
  • Some actions hurt rather than help others, and thus, are actions we should avoid.

Freedom in Christ should be used for his glory, not to serve ourselves.

Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be mastered by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12).