There are a lot of uncertainties in our lives. Relationships don’t always last. Possessions can be taken away or lost. Our abilities can change or even leave us over time. Nothing on this earth is unconditional and true.
And yet, over and over God proves that we can trust in the Lord for all of our needs. We can find rest for our souls in knowing that God always does what is promised. God always loves us, God always shows us the path we should follow, and God blesses us when we simply trust in who God is.
But not everybody knows this. Some are eating this food as though it really is food sacrificed to a real idol, because they were used to idol worship until now. Their conscience is weak because it has been damaged. Food won’t bring us close to God. We’re not missing out if we don’t eat, and we don’t have any advantage if we do eat. But watch out or else this freedom of yours might be a problem for those who are weak. Suppose someone sees you (the person who has knowledge) eating in an idol’s temple. Won’t the person with a weak conscience be encouraged to eat the meat sacrificed to false gods? The weak brother or sister for whom Christ died is destroyed by your knowledge. You sin against Christ if you sin against your brothers and sisters and hurt their weak consciences this way. This is why, if food causes the downfall of my brother or sister, I won’t eat meat ever again, or else I may cause my brother or sister to fall.
1 Corinthians 8:7-13
They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. We often watch each other, we learn from each other, and we often do what others are doing. God intends for us to be in relationship with others, so it is natural that we might look at our own behavior compared to others’.
God gives us unconditional grace, so that regardless of our actions, we are always loved and forgiven. But that doesn’t give us free reign to behave however we want, because there are also people around us who are watching what we do, how we act, and what we say. Although something may be okay for you to do, it may not be okay for someone else. So, it’s important that our lives reflect God’s love to everyone.
Is there a behavior or activity in your life that might lead someone else away from God? How could your life be more of a reflection of God’s heart and less a reflection of your own desires?
Courtney Jones Willis
Dear God, help me to pay attention to the ways my life might lead others away from you. Help me to be seeking out ways to fill my heart with you, so that others might want to imitate your love that they see in me. Amen.
When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word,
What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will, He abides with us still,
And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey, for there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
"Trust and Obey" by John H. Sammis