“Everything is permissible”– but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”– but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. – 1 Corinthians 10:23-24
Sinabi ni St Paul sa mga taga Corinth na pwede niyang gawin ang lahat ng mga bagay, walang makakapigil sa akin. “Walang pakialam ang ibang tao sa buhay ko!” But if we look at what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:12 (GW) “Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but I won’t allow anything to gain control over my life.”
Isang matatag na prinsipyo ang iniwan sa atin ni Pablo. He said na kahit pwede kong gawin ang hindi mabuti dahil galit ako or dahil gusto kong gumanti: “…but I won’t allow anything to gain control over my life.” Hindi ko hahayaan na ibulid ako sa impyerno ng kahit anuman. Yes, nasaktan ako, nawalan ako, natalo ako, but I will still maintain the goodness of God in me. The Lord made a promise: “Who can be against me if He is for me.” Kung alam mong mali, dapat ito ay itama.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 says this: “Respect and obey God because is the whole duty of man.”
Knowledge is knowing what to do but wisdom is knowing the difference between good and evil, the right and wrong.
Sinasabi ni Apostol Pablo na pwede mong gawin lahat ang gusto dahil ikaw ay malaya. May magsasabi, “Malaya akong makagagawa ng kahit ano,” ngunit ang sagot ko naman ay “Hindi lahat ng bagay ay nakakabuti”
Your life should be controlled by what is good, by what is beneficial.
In Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things arelovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
When I was a young boy, I saw a billboard of the Rotary Club that has their “four way tests” which says these:
- Is it the TRUTH?
- Is it FAIR to all concerned?
- Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
- Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
May mga bagay na nasa “grey area” kaya minsan mahirap ma distinguish if it’s good or bad. Kaya ang ginawa ni St Paul ay nagbigay sya ng example for us to have a barometer if our action is ok: “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God– even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31-33
The determination of whether or not a behavior or action is sinful is not the only factor to be considered when making an assessment of it. In this Biblical text, St. Paul urges us to assess whether the behavior or activity in question is beneficial or constructive, whether it is good for others, and whether it will bring glory to God. Iyan dapat ang maging goal ng mga anak ng Diyos. Huwag tayong gumawa ng mga bagay na magiging kasiraan ng reputasyon ng Lord. Let us strive to be the best representation of His love and kindness on earth.
Lahat ng bagay ay pwede ngunit hindi lahat ay dapat. Pwede versus Dapat. Pwede kang mandaya sa kapwa pero hindi dapat, pwede mong sampalin at sugudin ang mga bashers mo ngunit hindi dapat, pwede kang gumawa ng masama pero hindi dapat. Bakit? Because it is also said in the Bible: “whatever you sow, you will reap.” So kung nagtanim ka ng galit o pandaraya sa kapwa, aanihin mo din yan. Pero kung nagtanim ka ng kabutihan, ngiti sa kapwa, kabaitan, iyan din ang mga makukuha mo sa buhay. In life, you get what you deserve. Kung hindi man maibalik ng tao ang mga kabutihan mo, may Diyos naman sa langit na susuklian Niya ang lahat ng iyong magagandang ginawa. Ibang tumanaw ng utang na loob ang Lord. Sobra sobra Siya magbigay.
In the book of Proverbs 19:17 (NIV) says this: “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.”
Kapag ang buhay mo ay nagkaroon ng ganitong pananaw o doktrina na lahat ng gagawin mo ay para sa ikabubuti at para sa kaluwalhatian ng Diyos, magiging payapa ang iyong buhay. Makikita mo na mas magiging maayos ang takbo ng mga bagay.
What do you think of when you think about these verses? What might be okay, but might not pass the other tests? What is a behavior or action that you might enjoy, but that might not be helpful or useful, or that might hurt someone else or make them stumble? St Paul’s words should remind you today: whether you eat or drink, but in everything you do, make sure that it brings honor and glory for God.