When We Know Something or Someone isn’t Good for Us

Just because I can

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 1 Corinthians 10:23 (ESV)

I scroll away until I feel that shift in my spirit. You know, the post that stops you in your tracks and feels like a dagger thrust through your back? Or it may be the purposeful or unintended omission of acknowledgment? Or the distorted or twisted comment that’s left open for personal interpretation.

Oh, the woes of social media. I’ve come to realize that I have a love-hate relationship with all things online. I’ve even limited my activity to 15 minutes a day, but of late, I haven’t had the heart to jump on for a few minutes. I don’t mean to appear anti-social or ignore those I love, I’ve just concluded that unless I am sharing God’s hope, social media isn’t helpful for my mind or emotions.

God’s used this situation to remind me of the scripture in 1 Corinthians 10:23:

“All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up.

The apostle Paul is warning us about abusing our Christian liberty. This chapter has many precious truths, but verse 23 is rolling around in my heart and mind. 

Paul refers to the Israelites self-indulgent and careless discipline that led to sin. Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.

The Corinthians didn’t seek after the things that built them up them, they pushed the envelope, practicing what they could get away with and still be a Christian.

They didn’t see there were activities or even people that fractured their fellowship with God or distracted them from faithfulness.

We all have habits, people, or situations in our lives that we know are not spiritually helpful, yet our flesh wants what it wants. Unfortunately, the trade-off for gratifying the flesh comes later in circumstances that deplete us emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

If we know something is harmful or isn’t beneficial to our lives, shouldn’t we run from it?

Paul warns about habits that lead to sin. He even mentions being led astray by the company we keep. (1 Corinthians 10:6-22)

He basically says, “I have the right to do anything I want, but if that anything enslaves me in sin, then I don’t need to do it. (1 Corinthians 6:12)

Breaking free from those things that are oppressive, impure, discouraging, or pleasing to the flesh may be difficult, but not impossible. (Matthew 19:25)

In truth, we know what edifies our soul or what wounds or violates our consciences, don’t we? 

So, I’ve started asking myself a couple of questions to get to the gut of my feelings:

Does this activity harm my emotions or distract me from God’s truths, leading to sin?

Does this activity or person splinter my peace, or do I feel encouraged?

Does this activity cause me to lead others astray?

Your gut questions may look different from mine; we each battle the flesh in different ways. But I encourage you to take a soul inventory to identify those habits or people that may be bringing you down. 

Honesty with God is helping me decipher what His good and pleasing will is for me.

Yes, all things are lawful, but that doesn’t mean they are good for me.

I’ve wasted too much life on things that are not God’s best; how about you?