“Why Is My Freedom Judged?” ( 1 Corinthians 10: 27, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


If an unbeliever invites me to dinner and I want to go, I “eat everything that is set before [me], without raising questions of conscience.” “Everything is permissible,” says Paul although he admits that “not everything is helpful.” (1 Corinthians 10:23)

That’s a perfect way of looking at consumables  — whether meats, vegetables, breads, milks, sodas, coffees, teas, beers, wines or liquors. All of these are permissible; not all are helpful. Some definitely offend others’ consciences. When my consumption of any one of them offends, I “do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who tells [me]” for the sake of their conscience, not my own. “For why is my freedom judged by another person’s conscience?” (1 Corinthians 10:29)

“If I partake with thanks, why am I slandered because of something I give thanks for?” (1 Corinthians 10:30) “Therefore, whatever I eat or drink, or whatever I do, I do everything for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 10:31) On top of this, I “try to please all people in all things, so that they may be saved.” (1 Corinthians 10:33)

How is it that pleasing others in all things leads them to salvation? Paul says that he does not seek his own profit, “but the profit of many.” (1 Corinthians 10:33) Seeking the good of others by imitating Jesus, according to Paul, enables salvation. After all, something attracts unbelievers to Christ. We may as well be attractive. As Paul says, “Imitate me, as I also imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)