1 Corinthians 8:1-13
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“For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols?.”
The Things We Do
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“Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.” (1 Corinthians 8:13)
Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth is a lot of helpful advice on how to live as Christians in the world. This new church was filled with people just trying to figure it out, and, as expected, some started to believe that they had the right answers, and everyone else was wrong. Paul reminded them, in a not so subtle way, that knowledge isn’t the number one priority, but LOVE is.
Yes, this is about God’s love for us, and that does not change, but it is also about love for the neighbor.
See, whether or not the new church in Corinth ate meat or not wasn’t really the point Paul was trying to make. He wanted people to think about the result of their actions on others.
Sure, you can eat meat without it affecting you, but what if it causes someone else to lose faith, or what if their faith is weakened because of your actions? Should you still do it?
Sure you can be mean, gossip, and make people feel unworthy… but should you?
Yes, God loves us despite (or in spite of) our mistakes and inaction. But that doesn’t mean our wrongdoings have no consequences. What we do matters, and it matters most to those around us.
This is what Paul wants us to think about.
So often we make decisions based on only us, but Paul wants us to make decisions based on others… and based in love.
Questions to Ponder/Discuss
1. Have you ever pushed back against someone who was in charge? What happened? How did it go for you?
2. As a percentage, how often do you make decisions based on what you want, versus based on the feelings of others? Why is this? What do you think the percentage should be?
3. Paul wants us to do things with love for others, when is this the hardest for you? When is it the easiest?
4. How might you remind yourself that what you do matters most to those around you?
Ultimately, God is in control, and God has shown us that love always wins. How do we know? We simply need to look at Jesus.
The Pew Research Center asked people to give words that first came to mind when they heard the word “Christian” and the most popular words were: hypocritical, judgmental, and unloving. What is ONE thing you can do this week to change those words to Loving, Loving, and Loving?