1 Corinthians 10:31
31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. — 1 Corinthians 10:31
“Blue Suede Shoes”
by Mike Harland
Well, it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go! Are you humming the tune yet? This Elvis classic has another part of the lyric that says, “You can do anything that you want to do, but Honey, lay off my blue suede shoes…”
You probably never knew just how Biblical this lyric is. In I Corinthians 10:23 we read, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial,” like stepping on Elvis’ favorite shoes.
Here’s the truth that Paul is trying to make in this letter to the church at Corinth. Salvation is by God’s grace and cannot be earned. Because our actions can’t justify us, we know that once we are redeemed, our actions won’t cause us to lose the forgiveness of God through Christ. The carnal Christians at Corinth abused this grace by indulging in the temptations of their bodies with the faulty understanding that it didn’t matter how they lived since they would be saved anyway. This heresy was weakening and distorting the gospel. People around them could see this contradiction and were adversely affected by their willingness to disregard others’ view of God to indulge themselves. Paul could not let this stand. And, we can’t either.
The blood-washed, redeemed heart has the Spirit of God living within. This heart is sensitive to God’s presence and has a Spirit-led desire to please the Lord in our living and to represent the truth of the gospel of grace. This heart breaks when its actions break God’s heart. This heart is also sensitive to the impact its actions can have on others. This heart says, “When my freedom begins to injure my brother, I am no longer thinking like God thinks.” Like the Christians at Corinth, sometimes we indulge ourselves at the expense of others.
The Spirit-led Christian would never say, “I don’t care what anyone else thinks—I’ll do what I want to do.” God’s Word would direct us to never use our freedom to step on anyone’s blue suede shoes, or for that matter, “do anything that we want to do.” Our mindset is like the mind of Jesus, who considered others above Himself (Philippians 2).
- What life-choice are you making right now in the name of freedom that could be causing others to stumble over the gospel? Would you be willing to change your mind for the sake of the gospel?
- When is the last time someone else caused you to question the message of grace because of a choice they made?
- What change could you make right now that could portray a more accurate expression of the grace message to someone else?
- Pray that God would illuminate any accommodation to your personal desires you are making that is causing harm to others.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.