So what is Paul saying in this verse? Is he saying that ALL things are ok for me to eat/drink/watch/read/spend time in? I don't think so. I believe he's saying that just because it's permitted doesn't mean it's BEST. Just because I can have a bacon cheeseburger with bbq sauce dripping off doesn't mean it's the best thing for me to eat.
Confession time: next Wednesday you will find me at Red Robin with my good friend, Tina, eating a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger. Why? Because we're celebrating our birthdays and Red Robin gives their loyal customers a free burger in their birthday month.
Instead of eating a BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger every day or even once a week or even once a month, I choose to make that a special treat reserved for celebrating my birthday. The reason is, I know that even though that burger tastes good and it's "lawful" for me to eat, it's not BENEFICIAL for me to eat frequently.
It's permitted for me to watch "Criminal Minds" or "Law and Order" type shows. I enjoy crime shows, though my husband can't figure out why. But it's definitely not the best thing for me to be filling my mind with, especially after dark. So, I'll watch an episode or 2 and then move onto something more uplifting like "Call the Midwife" or "Columbo". Or I'll turn the TV off and pick up a book.
What's my point? Well, I want to challenge you (and myself) to THINK before putting a bite of food in our mouths; to STOP before turning the TV on to a "not-so-good" show; to ask ourselves, "Is this just permissible or is it beneficial? Will this thing (