Series: Love Glue
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Reflection: Mike Speegle
Live Wonder: Zan Long
Live Adventure: Zan Long
Live Beyond: Brandon Kharns
Live Purpose: Vanessa Rivera
Editor: Becky De Oliveira
Refresh: Begin with prayer. Ask for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to new understanding and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 in the English Standard Version (EXB). Note 1–3 insights or questions.
Reflect: In Chapter 6 of 1 Corinthians Paul is writing specifically to Christians. He wrapped up Chapter 5 by saying it isn’t his (or our) job, responsibility, or right to judge those outside the church (a lesson we still haven’t fully grasped). We can and should focus on us. This is where Chapter 6 begins. In Verse 12 he gets personal . . . very personal.
He begins with a statement that most scholars see as a popular saying in Corinth. As the Expanded Bible puts it: “I am allowed to do all things [ All things are lawful/permissible for me]” (1 Corinthians 6: 12, EXB). It sounds a lot like the thought many of us had when we finished high school: “I can do what I want now; I’m an adult.” (We all know how foolish it sounds now, but we believed it back then.)
In fact, Paul will repeat that statement twice, but each time connected to his own balancing statement, “but not all things are good for me to do [profitable; beneficial] . . . but I will not let anything make me its slave” (Verses 12 and 13).
Those are two statements that come as the result of life and perspective (which only comes through life). They are not at their core religious statements; they are life statements. Truths I’m guessing you have discovered through your own life-perspective experiences.
Often we learn best not before but after. After trying some things that turned out to not be good for you to do (no need to go into detail—you know yours and I know mine). Some things that aren’t necessarily bad, they’re just not good for you.
That’s part of embracing life and its lessons.
Before it (whatever it was/is for you) didn’t seem like a big deal; in hindsight, it was way bigger than you could even imagine. That’s why Paul’s second balancing statement is that he won’t let anything make him its slave. That’s tough, even harsh, language. Sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. We have to remind ourselves that we do have freedom and power of choice.
Recalibrate: Being honest with ourselves can be one of the hardest things for us to do. Anything “not good for you” right now in your life? Do you have a close friend who might be able to help you answer that question? Anything trying to make you its slave?
Respond: Father, give me honest eyes to see what’s not good for me and faith that helps me believe/trust that I can and will not let anything make me its slave other than You.
Research: Take three pieces of paper (preferably three different colors) and cut them in half so that now you have six. Glue them in pairs together (mix the colors up) so you have three sets. After 15 minutes, take one of the pairs, pull it apart, and notice how much sticks. Something to consider.
Remember: “Not everything is good for you” (1 Corinthians 6:12).
Mike Speegle is the lead pastor for New Hope, an exciting, young, multi-ethnic Adventist Church in Fulton, Maryland. Mike became a follower of Jesus and an Adventist in his early 20s. Pacific Union College was the first Adventist school he ever attended; he met his wife Lorie there. Mike has pastored for 30+ years, served in the Ministerial Association of the General Conference, and has written a book, Big Questions, as well as a number of articles.
Add the Bible App for Kids to your device and watch “The First Sin” with your little one. Rebuild the story in the activity. Adam and Eve had so much fruit to choose from but they listened to a snake who did not love them. Know that God loves you and only wants what is good for you and your child. Listen to love and learn what is good.
Our Words to Remember for this week are: “Not everything is good for you” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Watch the story of Rebekah and Isaac again and see if you can see what Isaac may have had that was not good for him. Do you think it was odd that someone else was going to choose Isaac’s wife for him? Isaac was forty years old. Maybe Isaac let other people make choices for him. When you are a child, grown-ups make choices for you all the time and that is a good thing. It’s not a good thing if you never learn to make your own choices. What choices can you make today that are good?
I really like 1 Corinthians 13:11. And I think it should be one of your favorite verses too. It’s not the typical favorite verse. It says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11, HCSB).
I get that I’m more of a glass-half-full kind of guy, but it’s kind of hard not to look around and see a bunch of people acting, well, childish. Let’s face it, there are a lot of fully grown adults that act like spoiled kids. But truth be told, some of the time I’m one of them. This verse has been a good reminder to me that I need to put childish thinking and actions away and grow up. This week we’re going to be jumping into what it means to mature in thinking. Take a bit of time right now to think about what that means. Take a few guesses about what mature vs. immature thinking is. You’ll probably come up with a pretty good list to add to what we will be talking about this week.
Peer pressure. I feel like rolling my eyes when I hear those two words. Hearing the words “peer pressure” takes me back to many lectures from my parents, teachers, and school assemblies about the danger of a bad influence. I learned that I need to make good choices and surround myself by people who aren’t trying to get me into trouble. I’m assuming you’ve probably heard the peer pressure speech too. And in all reality, what we’ve heard all along is true. We are constantly influenced by each other. I want you to think about who you interact with. How can you tell the difference between a good and a negative influence? Remember that although we are influenced, we each have the power to choose what to do.
Zan Long is GRC director for faith development groups. She lives in Sydney, Australia, and serves at her local church in nearby Kellyville.
Brandon Kharns is the family life pastor at Placerville Seventh-day Adventist church in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California near Lake Tahoe.
Vanessa Rivera is a therapist in a community mental health center in Denver, CO, and serves as the lead elder for Live Purpose at Boulder Church.