Addictions – I Corinthians 6:12

Someone getting into a driving accident after having been drinking should show us the dangers of alcohol. Why ever do it at all? Anything you have to eat or drink to make you “feel happy” will only serve to make you always feel “sad” unless you consume more. Alcohol is addictive. Meaning once you start drinking, it is hard to stop. And the best way to make sure you never get addicted is to never take your first drink. Any drinking of alcohol will hurt your example before Christians and non-Christians alike (Rom 14:21). If they know you drink, they will have a hard time respecting what you are trying to teach or stand for religiously.

Illegal drugs are even worse. And even drugs prescribed by the doctor can be dangerous for the same reason (and because they usually have bad side effects). Be careful in this regard.

Smoking is also addictive. People have the hardest time trying to stop smoking. At work I see people standing out in the freezing cold and rain just to smoke a cigarette. They have become a servant to nicotine. Coffee can be the same way. Ever wonder why some people have go to Starbucks twice a day? Because they are slaves to caffeine.  (I don’t put coffee in nearly the same category as alcohol, drugs, and smoking)

Notice the following translations of I Corinthians 6:12 …

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything. (New International Version)

You say, “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but not everything is helpful. “For me, everything is permitted”? Maybe, but as far as I am concerned, I am not going to let anything gain control over me. (Complete Jewish Bible)

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. (English Standard)

Someone may say, “I’m allowed to do anything,” but not everything is helpful. I’m allowed to do anything, but I won’t allow anything to gain control over my life. (God’s Word Translation)

Someone will say, “I am allowed to do anything.” Yes; but not everything is good for you. I could say that I am allowed to do anything, but I am not going to let anything make me its slave. (Good News Translation)

“Everything is permissible for me,” but not everything is helpful. “Everything is permissible for me,” but I will not be brought under the control of anything. (Holman Christian Standard)

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (New American Standard)

“I am allowed to do all things,” but all things are not good for me to do. “I am allowed to do all things,” but I will not let anything make me its slave. (New Century Version)

Some of you say, “Everything is permitted for me.” But not everything is good for me. Again some of you say, “Everything is permitted for me.” But I will not be controlled by anything. (New International Reader’s Version)

You may say, “I am allowed to do anything.” But I reply, “Not everything is good for you.” And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. (New Living Translation)

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything. (Revised Standard Version)

Everything is allowable to me, but not everything is profitable. Everything is allowable to me, but to nothing will I become a slave. (Weymouth New Testament)

And II Peter 2:19b reads in the ESV – “For whatever overcomes a person, to that he is enslaved.”

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