1 Corinthians 8:9 Exercising Your Rights

 

soaring eagle

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

In America and some other countries the exercise of rights is very high on the priority of many people. The majority of the people feel that they have a right to do what they want, when they want, and how they want to do it. It is called freedom.

One of the great challenges with this type of freedom is using it when it can harm someone else or cause another person to stumble.

It is very common to hear people in the public places saying words that should not be said in public. Or they will be cutting another person down. They are exercising their rights to speak freely, but in doing so are harming others.

Believers can have the same problem in their lives. A person who has been a believer for a longer time has learned the freedom that he has in Jesus. He may have learned that there is a lot of freedom in what he says or does. Yet, doing some of these things may cause a younger believer to stumble in what he believes is true.

Paul talked about eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. To a strong believer, this meant nothing, it was just meat. However, to a younger believer, they may still struggle with the fact it was sacrificed meat and focus on the idol, rather than just food. The stronger believer must be willing to not eat the meat around the younger believer, in order to not make him question his belief.

Believers today need to have the same attitude. While some things may be permissible, it may not be beneficial to do around younger believers. Although today people don’t deal as much with sacrificed food, it could be with tattoos, earrings, clothing, the words being spoken, what is watched in movies or on tv, what is listened to,  or some other area in life.

Take a look at your life and see what you are saying and doing. Are the things you are saying and doing building up younger believers? Or are those things causing them to question what they believe?

In everything that you do, seek to build others up. Do nothing that will cause them to question God or the Bible and cause them to stumble in their belief.

I pray today that God will reveal ways to build others up; that God will show you ways you may cause others to stumble; that you will exercise your rights with others in mind; and that you will know the freedom you have in Jesus. 

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1 Corinthians 8:9 Be Careful In Your Freedom

 

Lady with freedom

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

During the biblical times, there were many rules on foods that a person could or could not eat as a believer in God. Food was often used as a sacrifice to idols, thus people were not to eat any food that had been sacrificed.

Paul just pointed out that food sacrificed to a false idol was no different from any other food. As a believer in Jesus the people could eat any food as long as they gave thanks to God for it.

Now he states that people should be careful in this knowledge and their freedom to not cause anyone else to stumble.

Newer believers often struggle with knowing what their freedom is in Christ. They are still working on removing themselves from the ways of the world. Doing the things that they have freedom to do, can cause them to fall back into sinful ways, or they may still see them as sinful.

Freedom to do what a person wants to do, regardless of what others think, is a common thought in this world. Believers are not to live like that. They are to be concerned first with God’s thoughts, then for the other person.

In Jesus there is a lot of freedom in doing things. However, they must be done with the proper motivation. They should not be done with the mindset of that it is the person’s right to do it. Rights need to be put aside to build others up.

It is all about love of the other person. That is what God did in sending Jesus and what Jesus did in going to the cross, it was about love. Love builds up, rather than demands personal rights.

In your own personal life there may be things that God has helped break the bondage to. This allows you to work with those things, without sinning or being pulled away from God. One example is drinking alcohol. You may see it as allowable, while another still sees it as sinful or dangerous.

However, there may be others that still struggle with it. Put those things aside to keep them from struggling and stumbling before God.

Be willing to put your own rights aside, so that you may build someone else up. Do not allow yourself, on purpose, or on accident to cause anyone to stumble in any way.

I pray today that you will know the freedom that you have in Jesus; that you will know the love God has for people; that God will guide you in the proper use of your freedom; and that you will not be a stumbling block to anyone.