1 Corinthians 8:9 Exercising Your Rights

“Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.” 1 Corinthians 8:9

One of the challenges that was being faced in the church of Corinth was whether to eat meat sacrificed to idols or not. The pagan belief was that eating meat that was sacrificed would give you blessings from that god. Paul pointed out that eating the meat was just that and nothing more. Meat is just meat regardless of where it came from.

Some believers had come to understand that and was willing to eat the meat, while others still would not. Those who would eat the meat, ate it for the sake of food, not that it was sacrificed meat. Others could not get past the idea that it had been sacrificed and refused to eat it.

Even though they had the right to eat the meat, Paul says do not do it when around those who would not eat it. They had to give up their rights to strengthen the others.

Today people do not have to deal with sacrificed meat, at least in America, but there are other things that can cause stumbling blocks. There are believers who refuse to dance because dancing is usually associated with night clubs and bad parties. Other believers accept it as just a way to glorify God and enjoy time together.

Some believers refuse to allow women to wear pants, while others accept it. Some accept drinking a little wine, while others none. The list goes on and on. There are many things the Bible is silent on, which allows difference of opinion.

Paul says to be careful about your freedom here. If you are around someone who does not believe in doing something, even though it is not spoken against in the Bible, do not do it at that time. Do not try to force the person to accept your ways and beliefs.

The important things in life is believing in and obeying Jesus. After that, many things are subject to personal interpretation. What may be wrong for one person, may not be wrong for another. Although there are certain things that the Bible directly states are sin and they are wrong for everyone. Anything outside of those sins is matter between you and God.

Be willing to sacrifice your freedom to build someone else up.

I pray today that you will know what God calls sin; that you will know what God allows in freedom; that you will be sensitive to others thoughts; and that you will work to build other believers up.

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