This site uses cookies to provide you with more responsive and personalized service and to collect certain information about your use of the site.  You can change your cookie settings through your browser.  If you continue without changing your settings, you agree to our use of cookies.  See our Privacy Policy for more information.

Eating to the Glory of God Eating to the Glory of God

Eating to the Glory of God

At his office cubicle, Bill often listened to music that his colleague John hated. When John complained, Bill answered with a Latin phrase: De gustibus non est disputandum. It means, “In matters of taste, there can be no disputes.”

This is often how we view our disputes over Christian liberty. It is tempting to see our differences as little more than disagreements about taste. Since they are subjective, they cannot be resolved.

We also use the language of rights. We are convinced that we have the right to act according to our own tastes. To restrict our tastes is a capitulation to legalism. This false perspective is reflected in the Corinthian slogan, “I have the right to do anything” (v. 23). Paul counters this philosophy with an important observation: “Not everything is beneficial.” Even things which may be technically “legal” for us may not be constructive.

We cannot settle questions of Christian liberty by demanding a chapter-and-verse justification, for what is not explicitly forbidden is not always permissible. It is certainly not always wise. What may be acceptable behavior for one person can be dangerous for another. But how do we know where to draw the boundary lines?

The question of benefit is one test. What kind of an effect does the practice have on those who engage in it? Is it beneficial? Does it build us up? Or is it destructive? The other test is conscience. Does my practice contribute to the violation of another person’s conscience? It is important to recognize that this is not a test of conviction. The fact that someone believes a certain practice is wrong for Christians does not automatically obligate others to adopt their belief (v. 29).

Pray with Us

Remember in your prayers today the staff of Moody Aviation: Flight Instructors Ian Kerrigan and Jay Bigley. Thank the Lord for their faithful service, hard work, and dedication as they train the next generation of missionary pilots.

BY Dr. John Koessler

John Koessler is Professor Emeritus of Applied Theology and Church Ministries at Moody Bible Institute. John authors the “Practical Theology” column for Today in the Word of which he is also a contributing writer and theological editor. An award-winning author, John’s newest title is When God is Silent: Let the Bible Teach You to Pray (Kirkdale). Prior to joining the Moody faculty, he served as a pastor of Valley Chapel in Green Valley, Illinois, for nine years. He and his wife, Jane, now enjoy living in a lakeside town in Michigan.

Find Daily Devotionals by Month