1Cor 8:9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak… 13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
If other believers embraced life like you do, would they grow deeper with Jesus or get tripped up? That is a key question that 1Corinthians chapter 8 leaves in my mind. On the first read it seems like a chapter we can ignore. Few in our world wrestle with whether it is OK to eat meat offered to idols or to attend a pagan service where idols are worshipped. In a way it would be easier to just keep moving. But when I paused to reflect more deeply over this I was amazed with the implications and questions that flooded my heart.
If other believers embraced life like you do, would they grow deeper with Jesus or get tripped up?
I want to leave two questions for you to wrestle with over the weekend. The first you see above. It is the principle behind Paul’s answer to what they should do that has great relevance for us now. The danger is that if we aren’t careful, there are things we do that others will imitate to their harm! I remember eating cereal with one of my kids when they were about 3. I picked up the bowl to drink the last bit of milk. They did the same only the contents of their bowl DID not end up in their mouth. No big deal to clean up. Lesson learned. But the price might be higher for other things. What are some things you handle just fine that would spell disaster for a younger believer?
As you consider that question I want to layer the other one on top. Read over 1Corinthians 8 and ask yourself, “What are the meat offered to idols situations we face?” this was a situation that was no big deal for some but spiritually disastrous for others. What made the difference? Answer: Some viewed it as just having dinner- no big deal. Others however, saw it as intentional idol worship. Not so good. The difference was the condition of the heart regarding that activity. Can the activity be engaged as morally neutral or does it in fact become an act of idolatrous worship that interferes with a person’s walk with Jesus. This is a big part of what we are going to consider this weekend together.
What are the meat offered to idols situations we face?
That’s probably plenty to chew on for now. Make sure you get some sleep and come ready to work it out. How & why we should consider how our lifestyles impact other believers who see us and what Jesus wants from us as a result.