Scripture: 1. Cor 8:
7 But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled. 8 But food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t they be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.
Observation: There are things which are sins to some, but may be acceptable to you. But if you do those things which are sins to some, in front of them and cause them to stumble, you have sinned against them.
Application: A friend once shared a story with me about after becoming a Christian he would still occasionally stop in a local bar on the way home from work, have a single beer, then head home. This was to him not a big deal, and he didn’t feel that it was a sin. As time went on he became fairly well known in his local congregation. This particular bar that he stopped in on week days happened to be part of a restaurant, one day as he sat in the bar after work having his single beer, a person came into the restaurant that he recognized as one of the young newcomers to the Church. They exchanged glances and nods, but did not greet each other. But my friend said he could see in his face a disappointment that cut him to the bone.
He never saw that person at Church again after that. He knew that he had impacted that young persons faith, to a point where he didn’t come back to the fellowship. What was no big deal to my friend, was a big deal to the new Christian who perhaps was trying to overcome his own demons. We must be careful as we walk alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ that what we do, does not cause them to stumble. Even though we are not under the law, and all things are lawful, (as Paul said 1 Cor 6:12) it doesn’t mean that all things are useful and helpful, and we must be determined to walk not by the passions of our flesh, but by the leading of His Spirit and our faith.
Prayer: Heavenly Father,
Keep my feet upon the path that you are leading me on, and help me to be a guide to those who are less informed, who have less knowledge than myself. Let me not be a stumbling block to any, but help me to lead more to a deeper understanding and relationship with You! I praise you for your steadfast mercy and grace and ask your forgiveness when I do fail to be the example I should.
Yield: Help me Lord to give up anything in my life that may cause a brother or sister to stumble or lose faith.