My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Eat No Meat?
What are you willing to do to help others grow in their relationship with Christ?
Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.
(1 Corinthians 8:13 NASB)
Paul spends quite a bit of time talking about the freedom which he
has found in Christ. This freedom surpasses anything that can be found
in the world. Even an individual who was born into slavery can be free
in Christ -- whether physically free or not. This freedom which is
found in Christ has released many from restrictions placed upon them by
the world. However, some of the habits of the old life have crept into
the new life. For some people within the church community eating meat
which had been offered to idols was a real problem. They believed that
this meat had actually been defiled by having been used in a pagan
sacrifice. However, in a sense it was "used" meat and therefore was a
little cheaper to buy. Paul had found such freedom in Christ (which is
amazing considering his zealous Jewish background) that he had no
trouble eating this meat. But now Paul changes the tables on this
freedom. His personal freedom should never step over the bounds of
hurting his brother or sister in Christ. Paul could have pushed for his
own rights and his own freedom, but rather he placed the spiritual life
of those around him into a place of priority over his own rights.
What is there in my life that could be a stumbling block to others?
That is a serious question which we must be willing to ask ourselves
for our Christian life is not just singular, but rather, communal. We
are all called to live out the Christian life within the world and a
community of believers and non-believers as well. That is why we are
challenged to love God, and then to love our neighbor. They both go
hand in hand. Paul realized that to love his neighbor sometimes meant
giving up his own rights. I wonder if we're willing to examine the
practices of our lives and ask ourselves whether there is anything that
we do, in our liberty, that causes others to stumble and fall.
Would I be willing to go as far as Paul and say that if something
causes my brother or sister to stumble that I would NEVER do it again?
Lord, help me to see the things in my life which could be a
stumbling block to others and be willing to put them aside -- forever!