Acting in love!
Scripture reading for July 16th: 1st Corinthians 8
“Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he out to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.” (1st Corinthians 8:1-3) Paul addressed the problem of eating food that had been sacrificed to idols. Much of the meat in the Corinthian culture came from sacrifices to idols. Many Christians knew about this and some were ‘weak’ and others were ‘strong’.
Paul was in the ‘strong’ group that understood that an idol was really nothing. There was only one God and Father who gave us all things to enjoy. He alone was the source of life and blessing. That meant that food could be received with thanksgiving to God and eaten, regardless of the source, without defiling the person. (1st Corinthians 8:8)
However, another group of believers had come out of the idolatry and their consciences were ‘weak’. They believed it was a sin to eat the meat sacrificed to idols. The ‘strong’ believers were causing them to stumble by eating that same meat. Paul addressed this problem by calling on the ‘strong’ believers to limit their freedom in order not to offend or cause their ‘weaker’ brothers to stumble.
“When you sin against you brother in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.” (1st Corinthians 8:12-13) Truly ‘strong’ believers are sensitive to the needs of the younger or ‘weaker’ believers and limit their freedom. Love does what is best for the other! Would that we would be sensitive to the Spirit and the needs of our brothers!