1 Corinthians 8:7-9
1Co 8:7 However, this knowledge is not in all of us to the same degree. In fact, some have habitually thought like idolaters until now, so when they eat food that has been offered to an idol, their weak conscience is corrupted.
1Co 8:8 But a food will not really affect our standing in God’s sight. Neither are we lacking his blessing if we do not eat it, nor do we gain his blessing if we do eat it.
1Co 8:9 But you all had better see to it that your right to choose in this matter does not become a cause of tripping up the weak ones.
considering the consciences
Many of the problems pointed out in the Corinthian churches were caused by people with the right theology, but who practiced it in such a way as to hurt other believers. In this case, those who rightly understood the gospel message as setting them free from dietary restraints – thought nothing of availing themselves of the cheap meat which had been ceremonially dedicated to a false god. After all, it was just meat. Paul told these believers that their theology was right, but their actions were wrong. They failed to consider the consciences of the other believers – those who did not have the same degree of confidence that they had.
Our generation needs to learn this lesson again. We seem to flaunt our rights to watch whatever we want, eat whatever we want, drink whatever we want. Meanwhile, there is a new generation of believers, peering over our shoulders, checking out our behaviour. In some cases, perhaps our freedom is being seen as hypocrisy. It would not be a bad idea to practice a bit more self-control, for their sake.
LORD, give us wisdom as to how we display our freedoms.