Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
I Corinthians 8:9-13
Our Actions Impact Others
The Christians in the city of Corinth had a question. They wanted to know if it was wrong to eat meat that had been used in sacrifices at idol temples. This meat, you see, was used at the restaurants attached to the temple. Paul assured them that it was not wrong to eat such meat since the idol it was sacrificed to didn’t actually exist. The meat was just meat.
But this didn’t mean they should just go ahead and eat in those restaurants. Why? Well, one of their fellow Christians might see them doing so and think they were worshiping an idol. It might even lead that person to worship the idol themselves. Paul’s point was simple. Even if something is not wrong in and of itself, think carefully about what you are doing so you don’t mislead others and harm their relationship with Jesus.
Jesus would have us exercise the same love for our fellow Christians today. Think carefully about everything you do. Consider how it might affect the spiritual well-being of those around you. And be willing to give up your own rights, if necessary, for the good of others. After all, it was our Savior Jesus who gave up all of his rights in order to save you from your sins. May his love instill in you a sacrificial love for others.
Dear Jesus, help me show the same loving concern for the souls around me that you showed for my soul. Amen