“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12).
The world is ignorant to God’s reasoning and this does not allow them to relate to Paul’s teaching in the passage above. We live in an “anything goes” kind of world that has lost its desire for godliness and the riches of the moral values of being right with God. The world is becoming a people who forget the great teachings of our descendants who lived here before us, even ones as close as our own parents. Most of them taught decent moral values and ethics, yet many in the world today still choose to live in opposition to their teachings because society now embraces ungodliness and even rewards the ungodly.
Children of God are different than those of the world because they still base their beliefs on what the Bible teaches. If God says not to do it, His children obey His voice because they demonstrate their love for Him through their desire to be like Him. Even though society may accept some disobedient ways, followers of God choose to be different and maintain a close relationship with Him. They value His teachings and guard His words in their heart: “Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you” (2 Timothy 1:14). Paul knew the value of God’s truth and demanded that Timothy, as a preacher of truth, have the same regard for its value. The world is lost in ignorance because they see the world’s standards as more profitable than God’s truth.
So how do we discern what is good and what is not? First, we must know what is beneficial. James tells us God’s word is beneficial to salvation: “Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21). We must be spiritual minded to understand the true value of God’s salvation. God’s Spirit has revealed a plan that cannot fail. When God’s word is implanted in our hearts, He is working within us to bring us to an understanding of His ways. We can then begin to remove the ugliness that remains in our hearts, even though the world may not view certain things as being ungodly. Because God sees ugliness in the world’s ways, those who are His also see it that way. Only when we see the world’s ways as opposition to God can we see the value of God’s truth.
Secondly, children of God do not let the ways of the world control them. Flesh desires the ways of the world, so we must make a godly decision to deny our flesh and its evil desires to allow God’s Spirit to control our hearts and minds: “[F]or if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom 8:13). Following the mindset of flesh will lead us right into Satan’s power of death. Giving God control assures the child of God’s eternal life.
We will always be faced with tough decisions that will try to pull us away from the foundation of our faith. Conquer the power of Satan’s pull by asking God to show you things in your life that are not beneficial to you or that are controlling you (James 1:5). Trust in His word knowing only His truth is our way out of the world of bad decisions.
In His Grace,