vv 23-24. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is beneficial. Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.
Here is a splendid example of individualism and non-community thinking! ‘I am allowed to do anything’. (Lawful, obviously!) Of course you are, but Paul indicates that we ought to stop and ask ourselves a question; is my action good for the whole community, or is it just for myself? Many people question eating meat for that reason, or driving gas-guzzling cars, (or in today’s news, allowing the Amazon rainforest to keep burning.) Paul applies this to the then-vexed question of eating meat that might have been offered as part of a sacrifice in a heathen temple. His conclusion in v31 has far-reaching implications for Christians living in an unbelieving society. ‘ So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Don’t give offence to Jews or Gentiles or the church of God. I, too, try to please everyone in everything I do. I don’t just do what is best for me; I do what is best for others so that many may be saved. ‘ Now that is remarkably community-minded and is a significant element in our learning to walk together as Church.