1 Corinthians 10:23–33 (NKJV)
23 All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. 24 Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.1 Corinthians 10:23-33
25 Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience’ sake; 26 for “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.”
27 If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience’ sake. 28 But if anyone says to you, “This was offered to idols,” do not eat it for the sake of the one who told you, and for conscience’ sake; for “the earth is the LORD’s, and all its fullness.” 29 “Conscience,” I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man’s conscience? 30 But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks?
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32 Give no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God, 33 just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.
Paul revisits the thoughts concerning liberty regarding what one eats briefly here, as he proclaims that all things are lawful for him, not not all things are helpful. This characterization makes even more clear the reason for judicious navigation of life for the sake of others. He encourages the reader to care for the well-being of others rather than simply seeking one’s own liberty. He suggests not seeking out a reason to reject someone’s food, but to eat what is offered because of the conscience of the one serving it. Someone who has liberty to eat something would be offended if the guest were to inquire and then be forced to reject their offer of food. Pray over your food, and then eat what is offered to you if you have the liberty in your spirit to do so. The summary statement simplifies the whole matter: “whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Instead of seeking to appear overly pious, be pleasing to all men that you may see them saved.
Obviously, Paul is not suggesting that one get drunk or do drugs, or engage in illicit sexual behavior in order to fit in with a group. We are not “deep cover” operatives or spies. Instead, don’t be obnoxious with your convictions, but rather win over the sinner in order to save their souls. In so doing, you will convert them, if you do not offend them first. Don’t be so separatist that you separate yourself completely from those who need to hear the gospel. Be in the world, but not of the world. Be human, while you introduce humanity to the Divine.