“Not all things are helpful”

12ways

Full day, but can’t break the streak! So I leave you, gentle reader, to ponder someone else’s words. From page 103 of Tony Reinke’s 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You:

   “All things are lawful for me,” came the reigning motto from ancient Corinth.

“But not all things are helpful,” responded Paul.

“All things are lawful for me,” came the motto again, perhaps louder.

“But I will not be dominated by anything, retorted Paul.

“All things are lawful,” came the motto a third time, now even more abruptly.

“But not all things are helpful,” reiterated Paul.

Freedom in Christ is not freedom to do whatever you want; it is for sure-footed self-reflection and for avoiding the cultural bondage of sin. My freedom in Christ gives me eyes to see that not all things are helpful for me, helpful for others, or acceptable for my witness in the world.

Reframing my choices in terms of their gospel helpfulness feels counterintuitive, and it definitely steps on my own toes. But as I look toward a new year, a fresh turn of the calendar, it’s a welcome push from my own comfort.

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