Wednesday, September 30, 2009

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Today's passage deals with a strange issue, eating meat that has been offered in sacrifice to idols. This issue may be so strange in fact that we may feel it has nothing to do with us today. Even though today's reading deals with such a remote thing there are still three great principles which are eternally valid.

The first of these principles is what is safe for one person may not be safe for another. I firmly believe that God has His own way to every person's heart. The devil also has his own subtle way to every person's heart. A person may be strong enough to resist a temptation but another person may not. Therefore when we are in a group of people or being observed by people, before we undertake any action we must think through the influences that action has on us and on other people.

The second principle is nothing should be judged solely from the point of view of knowledge - everything should be judged from the point of view of love. There is always a certain danger in knowledge by itself. Knowledge can make us become arrogant, conceited, and feel superior to others. It can cause us to look down on others that do not have the same knowledge as ourselves. It can cause us to make fun of, or laugh at, those that are not as knowledgeable. It is especially dangerous when we are dealing with others that are not as far down their spiritual path as ourselves. Our behavior should not be driven by knowledge alone but by compassion and love for others. There are many times when out of compassion, love, and respect for another we should refrain from doing something or saying something that otherwise would be fine.

The final principle is no one has any right to indulge in a pleasurable activity which may harm someone else. We may have the strength of mind and will to keep that activity in its proper place. The pleasant activity may be safe for us but we do not have only ourselves to consider. We must also consider others and especially weaker others. Participating in an activity that is pleasurable to us but harmful to someone else must be avoided and could be a sin.

I am often amazed at the timelessness of the messages in the Bible.

Wishing you much success in your walk with Christ,
Richard Leach

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