Vol.XV No.VIII Pg.1
October 1978

Making Others Wealthy

Robert F. Turner

As a small boy, knowing nothing of context, I read 1 Cor. 10:24 and was puzzled. "Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth." Further reading convinced me that Paul was saying, "be concerned for the good of others." And now, after years of reading, this unselfish attitude is recognized as a principle of Christianity, and universally needed.

In chapter eight the man who knew all about liberty in Christ was told, "knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth." "Take heed lest... this liberty ...become a stumbling block to them that are weak." ("Make my brother to offend" —v.13— does not refer to hurting his feelings, but cause him to act contrary to conscience and therefore to sin against God.)

In chapter nine Paul applies "seeking the good of others" to preaching. He defends the "rights" of an apostle to material support, but says God's "right" over him is greater. "A dispensation of the gospel is committed unto me" (vs. 15-18), so that I must preach, whether supported or not. His dedication was to God and to others. "For though I be free from all men yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more" (vs. 19-23). So, he adapted himself (within bounds of his obligation to God) "that I might by all means save some." He likened this rigorous self-denial to athletic training for a race (24-27), and warned that only those who are faithful to the end will win (10: 1-14). We must not eat and drink of God's blessings, and then "rise up to play" — content with self-interest.

Paul points out that a thing right within itself (eating meat) may have a sinful connotation or significance. Bread and fruit of the vine may become means of fellowship with Christ. Partaking of the Jewish altar signified fellowship therewith; and to the pagan, the same was true with reference to meat offered to his gods. So, when significance is attached (v.28) it is better to forego your "right" to eat, than to cause another to sin.

How different the world — even the "church" — would be if we were "—not seeking mine own profit but the profit of many, that they may be saved."