So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:32
God grants us freedom in many areas of our life. Along with some very clear and strict commands, He gives a gracious allowance for personal choices. No one may rightfully judge us morally on account of these things and we may lift our heads and walk with dignity intact as a child of God.
Personal freedom is a wonderful thing, something we should cherish and protect, for when this is lost then the world and the church are worse off for it. So in protecting our own freedom of choice along many lines, we protect the freedom of choice for others, helping to undo a critical, judgmental spirit from prevailing.
Yet this cannot be our only value. There is a spiritual danger to us implicit in this attitude – that our freedom may become our Lord instead of Christ. So the supreme issue for us is not whether or not we have the freedom to do a certain thing, but whether it serves the purposes of Christ.
The Christian is only really free when he is surrendered to the will of God, for any other insistence of personal rights is almost always the surrender to our lusts and pride. This passage teaches that personal freedom for the Christian should be about personal freedom to determine what brings pleasure and credit to God, what furthers His cause to save and transform lives.
There are roughly three ways that we interpret these matters. First, is the self-centered individual, who only cares about his own opinion, who does what he likes when he likes. Second, is the person afraid of others, who gives into the pressures that others exert on him to conform or behave a certain way. Third, however, is the person who is motivated not by self-interest alone, or by abject fear to step out of line, but by the higher motives of morality and righteousness. His passion and concerns are based on what is right and holy and just and helpful.
The self-centered egoist is alone, for selfishness alienates others. The fearful follower of others is also alone, for his insecurity repels the serious and sincere. But the one who seeks after the will of God, who stands by the principles of grace and righteousness, invites others into his heart and becomes wonderful company. But more than human company, this person has first the company of Christ and lives each day in His presence first and foremost.