“Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor.” (I Corinthians 10:24)
Having already stated in I Corinthians 9:23 that his first consideration in decision-making was the gospel (see post here), Paul here offers a second: consider the impact your decision will make on others. It is not merely what is good for YOU that ought to consider, but the impact it will have on OTHER people.
Paul was specifically speaking here in regard to eating the food sacrificed to idols. If that didn’t bother them personally, well enough — but he indicated that that was not to be the end of their consideration. What impact would it have on OTHERS around them? That was a different story! There were many whose consciences might be hurt, and to whom the Christian witness might be destroyed. Their own feelings were not the only ones to be taken into consideration. They were not only to seek their own good — but that of others.
It is to be the same with us. As we make decisions, we are not merely to consult our own feelings, but consider the impact of our decisions on other people. Paul reinforced this in Philippians 2:4, where he said: “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Are you facing a decision? To follow the Apostle Paul’s decision-making grid, consider first the impact this will have on the gospel. Then consider not only how your choice will impact you — but also how it will affect others. What will they think or feel? How will it impact their lives?
This is an important second step which can help give us directioin. Paul also gives us a final factor for our decision-making later in the chapter. Lord willing, we will share that consideration in tomorrow’s post.