Sunday, September 25, 2011

1 Corinthians 6:12-13

"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. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God shall destroy both it and them."

After ferreting out
The kernel of freedom
In that heap of advice

From the frenetic saint
And would-be lawgiver
Squawking "What? What? What? What?

God forbid!" and so forth,
One savors the weirdness
Of the advice itself.

Can it make sense to say
All things are lawful, but
That's not what's important?

The KJV phrasing,
That "all things are lawful,"
Not all "expedient,"

Was popular at home 
When I was growing up,
Where it was given to mean

"I could, but I shouldn't,"
Or, in application,
"You could, but you shouldn't."

It comes to mind often,
Now in my middle age,
Although it feels different,

Closer to, "I could, but
It wouldn't be prudent,
At best, inconvenient."

Neither way of reading
Fits well with the meaning
Of the "expedient."

All things are lawful, but
Not all things are easy.
Put it that way, I sense

Where I stand. Come what may,
It's a tradeoff. Then God
Takes "it" and "them" away.

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