A Reminder to be Careful
“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”1
In today’s passage, the Apostle Paul is specifically addressing the question of whether the Corinthians can or should eat the food sacrificed to idols. However, when I read the key verse for today, the Lord brought something to my mind, and I felt it was a great reminder and much needed today.
If you turn on any news channel on your television today, there are certain topics that are constantly being talked about. From the pandemic to demonstrations and protests around the world, this is what is happening around us right now. These topics bring out a wide variety of emotions in people and it is natural for people to feel passionate about their opinions and rights. In my circle of friends and acquaintances, there are varying opinions and some people are more outspoken than others. I see a lot of attacks from one person to another and this is where I feel God wants us to focus today.
First, I am not here to tell you how you should feel or act regarding any given topic. However, I know that our goal as Christians should always be to bring God glory in everything we say and do. God’s word tells us, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”2
Secondly, as today’s verse says, we need to be careful of our actions so that the exercise of our rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. Others are constantly observing our actions as Christians and we need to be careful to make sure our words and actions are pointing others towards Christ in difficult situations, and not pushing them further away. Perhaps our thoughts and actions are correct, but if we are acting in unkind ways or judging others for their differing opinions, are we reflecting Christ how we ought to? There is nothing wrong with standing up for what we believe in, but let us remember to “speak the truth in love” when it comes to interacting with others (especially non-Christians) who may think differently than we do. Let us remember what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. In verse 9 of this chapter we read, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” What a great example Jesus was of this to us during his time here on earth. May we seek to be His presence in our world today.
Suggested prayer: “Dear God, thank you for allowing many of us to live in places where we are able to exercise our freedoms and rights. Please give me your heart to listen to others, demonstrate compassion, act wisely, and speak the truth in love. Keep me from making others stumble, but instead let me reflect you in everything I say and do. May others, seeing you in me, want the same for themselves. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
1. 1 Corinthians 8:9 (NIV).
2. 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV).
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.