From the time we were little children, society has taught us [and still teaches us] that we should be busy in “seeking our own good”. This teaching has permeated itself into the corporate world, the schools, the family, and sadly even into the lives of Christians – thus, rearing its ugly head in churches. Though many will adamantly state that they do “seek their neighbor’s good”, it is often cloaked in bolstering “one’s own good” – without a heart of love. In 1 Corinthians 13:3 we read,
“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity [love], it profiteth me nothing”.
If this ill planted seed is allowed to bear fruit in the life of a Christian, the fruit yielded will be discontent, discord, disharmony, and disunity with one’s “neighbor”. Consequently, a Christian’s fellowship and relationship with other believers will suffer. Equally true, a local assembly will suffer due to broken unity within the body of Christ.
God’s Word, though, does provide us His answer for this issue. In 1 Corinthians 10:23-33, Paul addressed having a conscience free of offending thy neighbor (that is, seek thy neighbor’s good), that thy neighbor may be saved. Note the passage;
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth. Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake: For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake. But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof: Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.”
And let us also not forget our brethren.
Romans 15:1-3 states,
“We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”
When we seek our neighbor’s good (that is, the interest or welfare of the person of different attitudes or dispositions, the interest of the immature Christian, the interest of the heathen or the unbeliever) we demonstrate our love for our Lord – because our Lord sought our wealth, not His own, in life and in death.
2 Corinthians 8:9 states,
“For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.”
2 Corinthians 9:15 states,
“Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”
Romans 2:4 states,
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
May we through a heart of Christ’s love truly “seek our neighbor’s good.”
If you have never trusted in Jesus Christ as your Saviour, please understand that Jesus Christ seeks your good.
Luke 19:10 states,
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost”.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
Will you trust in Jesus today? For it will truly be for your good.