I Corinthians 10:23-25
“”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. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.”
It is about me and whatever makes me happy is what I will do. I won’t show respect until they show respect. Have you heard someone say things like this? Maybe you have said things like this. We like to say “In today’s culture,” I think that this thought can trip Christians up or even non-Christians. We like to think that we are so much different now than anyone else to exist before us. In reality our issues are the exact same we just have new ways of going about those issues. I think that it can trip us up because we can say well the bible is so ancient. They didn’t deal with the same things I do. We can convince ourselves that the bible doesn’t have authority or relevance in the certain areas because of the distance in cultures. Right here in 1 Corinthians, the verse above, we can clearly see that Paul sees the same issues in the culture of the day as what we see in our culture in 2019. Here are some other verses.
“Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.” – 1 Peter 3:8
“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:15
“For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbors as yourself.”” – Galatians 5:14
“For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” – James 3:16
“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.” – Luke 6:35
The writers of the bible that were divinely inspired to write clearly think it is important to flip the common thinking of the culture. As Christians we need to take these verses and lead by example serving those around us even when it’s hard. If you want to break a cycle of continual disrespect between you and someone in your life, love first. Be careful in the motives of why you are doing this though. Are you doing it just so you will finally get the respect you “deserve”? Like the last verse listed from Luke we must serve expecting nothing in return. We do this by seeing them as God’s children not our enemy. We need to desire peace even if it means to allow the other person to walk away damage free after they attack our character.
Take time to reflect on these questions
Do you love first?
Are you ok helping others develop even if that means they will pass you up?
What is your motive for your daily decisions?