1 Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
One of the great misnomers in the Christian life is that because you are saved, you can do anything you want because you are now living under grace. Just because your sins have been paid doesn't mean that you can do anything you want without suffering the consequences of sin. There are many people who embraced this mentality only to find that sin’s consequences still come. Yes, your sins are paid for when you got saved, but sins being paid does not mean that you will never suffer the consequences of doing wrong.
However, there are times in life when you have to choose between good and good. Paul said in the verse above, “All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient:…” He was saying there are times when what you want to do is not bad, but it is not the right thing to do. So, how do you discern between good and good? Let me share several principles that will help you when you find yourself having to choose between good and good.
First, is the good advantageous? There are times when you do good that it is not going to advance the cause of Christ. You don't do good because it will benefit you, but you do good because it will benefit Christ. Is the good that you want to do going to be advantageous for Christ’s cause?
Second, does the good benefit the cause of Christ? You always have to ask yourself if the good that you are about to do will hurt the cause of Christ or benefit it. Just because something is good doesn't mean it won't hurt what you are trying to do for Christ. When the cause of Christ would be hurt by the good that you are going to do, it would be wise not to do the good.
Third, is it the right time to do the good? There are times when what you want to do is not the right time even though it is good. Timing always comes into play. What you want to do may not be bad, but it would be better if you waited. For instance, it is not bad to get married, but it may be the wrong time to get married because you are not prepared financially, or you still have other things in your life that need to be resolved before you get married. The timing of doing right is as important as if it is right or wrong. You can do right at the wrong time, and it will hurt the good that could have been done if you had waited until the right time.
Fourth, will the good hinder others? If what you want to do is not bad, but it will hurt another believer, you would be wise not to do what you want to do. You do have a responsibility to your fellow believers, and to do something that could cause them to be spiritually hindered should cause you to choose not to do the good that you want to do.
Fifth, will the good help others? Your purpose of serving God is to please God first and help others second. When you die to self, you don’t fall into the equation. When you take yourself out and put others before your wishes of good is when you will find that you will let good be determined by how it helps others to grow in the LORD.
My friend, the key to all of these is to be yielded to the Holy Spirit. When you must choose between good and good, you should be so yielded to the Holy Spirit that the right good to do will be as obvious as flashing lights on a wall.