Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9
Freedom to do what one wants, when he wants and how he wants is something that most people like or desire. Even in the most free nations of the world, there are still some regulations that control how much freedom a person really has.
It is commonly accepted that one is free, unless what he does causes harm to another person. Courts are often used to determine if that ‘harm’ was actually harmful or not.
After talking about eating meat that had been sacrificed to false idols, Paul tells the people to be careful on exercising their rights. He warns them to not allow their rights to become a stumbling block for others.
Although eating of meat sacrificed to idols is not a common problem in most of the world, there are other things that people do that can be of the same category.
One example may be with dancing. Some believers are strong against dancing for various reasons, other believers believe in dancing. Love and care should be taken by those who believe in dancing to not dance around those who are against it. To do so would be to cause the other person to stumble in his belief with God.
It may be better for a person to give up his rights, rather than cause confusion or stumbling. Some have walked away from God, because of all confusion of the different beliefs of what is right or wrong being shown to them.
Each and every believer must be willing to work out what he believes and why he believes it. Every belief must be held up in light of scripture. This will be a growth and learning process for each believer.
In your life there may be things that you believe are acceptable, that others do not agree with. Instead of demanding your way of belief upon others, let go of those things to build others up.
The base core of what one believes must be that one must believe in Jesus, repent of sins and follow God with all of his heart. Everything else may or may not be subjective and debatable.
Allow others to grow and learn, just as you are growing and learning in what it means to follow God with all of your life.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know how God wants you to live your life; that God will use you to build others up in His ways; that God will guide you in not being a stumbling block for others; and that your life will be an example of Jesus to others.
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings. 1 Corinthians 7:23
No one really likes to be a slave. People all over the world like to have freedom to be able to do what they want. Slavery binds a person to another person and is not allowed to choose what they can or cannot do at any given time.
While slavery has been virtually abolished in some countries, it does still thrive in others, and in every nation around the world, there is a different type of slavery occurring.
Paul, talking to the believers in the Corinthian church, tells them that they were bought at a price and that they should never be a slave to other humans.
Even though America has abolished slavery, millions of people are allowing themselves to be enslaved to other people. This can be seen most commonly through financial debt to another person or organization.
However, it can also be seen in bound in slavery to friends, giving into the pressure to live a certain way that goes against God. People are enslaved to work so that they can purchase things that they don’t need, in order to live up to the Jones’ expectations.
Slavery to the world and the things of the world will only result in disappoint and death in the end.
God, in His perfect love, sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross, so that He could purchase every one who would believe in Him. His death was the price paid to give life. The one who believes in Jesus, is now a slave to God, owned by God.
Living as a slave to God will result in eternal life with Him in heaven. While living as a slave to God on this earth, one will experience a true life of peace, joy, and contentment that the world cannot offer.
If you have chosen to believe in Jesus, you are now a slave to God. Your life is to be laid out before God to control in every area. God, being a God of perfect holiness and love, will only do what is best for you.
He is not a harsh and selfish master that is out to destroy you, but one that is loving and wants to build you up.
Allow your life to be dictated and led by God. Be a slave to God, not to man or the things of this world. You were bought for a price and belong to God now.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will allow God to be your Master; that God will break the chains of slavery in your life to the world; and that you will know the true freedom you have in Jesus.