Paul’s teaching time with the Corinthians using their own words: “’All things are lawful for me,’ but not all things are beneficial.’All things are lawful for me,’ but I will not be dominated by anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12-20).
Paul quotes what some Corinthians had said, that “All things are lawful for me,” and warns them of the danger of becoming a slave to things they perceive as lawful. It is amazing how often we do those things that we think don’t really matter. Paul told the Corinthians and is telling us today that those practices are not beneficial to us and can dominate us.
Paul singles out gluttony and fornication in this part of his first letter to the Corinthians. Paul says that, “The body is meant for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power.”
He goes on to say that our bodies are members of Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit, and we are not our own. It is not up to us how to use our bodies, for our bodies are a gift from God.
There are many ways that we use our God-given gifts to divert our journey in the spirit. Our hurtful speech can be one of our most ugly diversions. It is so easy for us to have opinions and to judge. It takes very little effort with the tongue to do great harm to another.
Surely God intended better uses for His human creations than we sometimes display. We have sinned against God and against our own bodies, which belong to God. How can we overcome our detrimental natural behavior?
Paul tells us that we must have the mind of Christ. This requires daily if not hourly connection with Christ and the Holy Spirit. We must think like Christ in every aspect of our lives. A figurative flag must go up whenever we start to stray.
Our environments can make it very difficult for us to hold on to this Christ mindset, but we must persevere. After all, we are “members of Christ” and “temples of the Holy Spirit.”