The world can be a scary place, and in our anxiety we sometimes turn towards things that hold no real safety.
We serve a God in whom we find our true solace. Take some time now to turn to God, and put your fears aside.next >
It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. “Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
1 Corinthians 8:7-9next >
Gesturing towards the table, where the food still sat, Fortunatus turned to Chloe. “Maybe I’m just not as strong in my faith as you are, but I can’t quite bring myself to think that the gods don’t exist at all. To my way of thinking, the God of Jesus is like Zeus, the chief of all gods, but the others do exist. So to me, if I eat meat from an animal that has been offered in sacrifice to one of the gods, I’m eating sacred food — I’m participating in their worship.”
Chloe replied, “Then you shouldn’t do it. And I respect your principles. To me, it’s just meat; but if eating it makes you feel slimy, then I won’t serve it when we all sit together as brothers and sisters in Christ. I’d choose friendship with you over a leg of lamb any day!”
We Christians have split from one another for lots of reasons. Paul says that he’ll change his behavior if that helps protect someone else’s faith. What would you be willing to do?
Richard Vinsonnext >
O God, help me to love all your people as you do, even if it means changing. Amen.next >
You are going out now into a dangerous world.
But walk on with confidence,
Knowing that your God is with you,
More powerful than any evil influence,
More trustworthy than any pretender.
Richard Vinson teaches religion at Salem College and New Testament for Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte campus). He is a native of Alabama. He and his wife, Diane Lipsett, between them have five sons, one daughter-in-law, a 5-year-old grandson, a dog, and two cats.
Hold Me in Your Hand, Lord, Teach Me How to Live