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1 Corinthians 6:12a/10:23a

As we examine what it means to bring glory to God with everything we do, Paul sets up a tension that requires thought. Further, there is no single answer to the question, How do I bring glory to God. These verses have caused me more consternation and generated more questions than any other issue.

Other passages such as Galatians, particularly chapter 5, require us to firmly stand and defend the liberty we have in Christ. We are not allowed to simply withdraw from the world and not do anything except “spiritual” things. Paul has to balance the liberty he preaches in Galatians with the tendency to “just party” that the Corinthian church knew from its culture. (The loose living of Corinth generated a new verb, to Corinthianize, defining a life lived wildly for pleasure.)

Paul repeats the opening phrase of his proverb in both chapters. If God has not prohibited something, we are free to participate. However, not everything that is permissible is of value to us as we glorify God. This brings in basketball and the philosophy of entertainment from Monday. Is watching basketball prohibited in scripture? No, in fact, Paul probably would have been something of a fan. So we have a green light to participate.

There is a line that we can cross though even with something as innocuous as basketball. It is worthwhile to take some time away from our routine. This keeps us fresh and sharp. There was great value in watching the high school team play on a Friday. We got to meet many people or see them in a different light. Much ministry came from those relationships. I would argue though that basketball can become “not expedient” if we watch the high school team on Friday, our college teams on Saturday, and our pro teams on Sunday, with a couple of extras thrown in during the week. If we are to bring glory to God, we must evaluate if our activities are worthwhile at this time and in this way.


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