“… I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:33)
Loving people who treat you unjustly, or whose behavior is just utterly annoying, can be very hard and exhausting. Paul offers us a helpful perspective. He argues that we should seek the good of our neighbor, even if that means giving up something for the sake of his or her conscience. For, says Paul, “I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved” (1 Corinthians 10:33). One chapter before, he phrased it thus: “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23).
Denying ourselves certain rights for the sake of somebody else’s conscience makes sense in the perspective of eternity: if our behavior could harm their faith or their spiritual growth, it’s worth giving up on it. For eternity is far more important than anything here and now.
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