Day 3: Here We Go Again
Try to imagine what it would’ve been like for the people of Corinth to hear Paul’s letter being read out loud from beginning to end. That’s how it would’ve been done. There were no chapters or verses in Paul’s letter. Just one long scroll that would’ve been publicly read from beginning to end.
As they’re listening, Paul once again uses a phrase that would’ve been familiar for all listening. “‘I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial. ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.”
Hearing this, one man turns to the person next to him and whispers, “Didn’t he just read that a few minutes ago?” “Shhhhh,” his neighbor responds. “I’m trying to listen!”
But yes, indeed, Paul did write with these same words back in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20. It was a common style in Paul’s day to repeat the same phrases to emphasize a point. Apparently, this was a point Paul really wanted to make. It’s as if Paul uses this opportunity to say, “I’m here to teach you, but what I most want to teach you is to think. Stop saying, ‘Everything is permissible,’ because if you pause to think, you’ll come to see that not everything is beneficial.” As you read today, consider this: How often do you think through the outcome of your thoughts/actions?
READING: 1 CORINTHIANS 10:23-11:1
How often do you pause to think through the outcome of your actions? Your words? Your thoughts?
What would it look like for you to pause more regularly to think of the possible outcomes of your actions, words and/or thoughts?
How would pausing to think through the outcome of your actions, words, and/or thoughts draw you closer to God?
F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)
Read: Nehemiah 1 & 2
Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today?
Heavenly Father, I’m grateful that Paul didn’t just once write the phrase, “…not everything is beneficial,” but he instead repeated it to help me recognize that just because I can do something, doesn’t mean it’s good for me to do so. Today, I pray for Your wisdom in how to better think through all areas of life. Help me to see the negative consequences of my worldly thoughts and actions, and the positive outcomes of my godly thoughts and actions, so that I may continue to grow into the person You’ve made me to be. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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