‘All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are beneficial. ‘All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything. vs. 121 Corinthians 6:12-14
Paul had asserted that in Christ believers had been set free from the law, and naturally the folks in Corinth had misinterpreted his words. They began doing the things that had been forbidden, particularly in the area of sexuality. The new freedom felt wonderful to them–but when Paul got wind of it he exploded. He couldn’t understand how they could so misinterpret the good news! He agreed that all things were lawful–but not all things were helpful, and they should have been able to figure that out. We’ve had that same struggle in recent times as we’ve tried to figure out a response to the COVID pandemic. Some have felt that individual freedoms trump all, and anything that impedes our ability to do as we please should be disregarded. Others maintain that for the sake of the community it’s important to adopt measures to combat the disease, even if it means inconvenience or even hardship for individuals. This tension isn’t new. For generations we’ve struggled to find the balance between individual rights and community needs. For Paul all behaviors were connected to the health of the body. Some were lawful but not beneficial, and he urged the Corinthians to avoid those which damaged the community. And that’s what many have chosen to do now–out of love for others they put on their masks and stay at a distance–even if it violates their individual freedom.
Thought for the Day: How do I feel about wearing masks?