January 28

1 Corinthians 8:7-13

“But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.” vs. 9

Jesus came proclaiming liberty to the oppressed and for generations believers have embraced that good news with enthusiasm. It fits our notion of the American dream where life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the highest aspirations. Some carry this to an extreme and say that there is nothing that can be forbidden to them–they’re inclined to do pretty much whatever they please. We’ve gotten a strong dose of this in recent months as large numbers of the population have refused to comply with mask and social distancing recommendations intended to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Paul would have gone ballistic in response to their declaration of liberty. In his estimation everything revolved around the health of the community. That’s why he told the Corinthians that if his meat-eating was offensive to any, he’d stop doing it! This is a place where Paul deserves our attention. We know the weaknesses of those around us, and just because we can eat and drink all things, doesn’t mean we’ll flaunt our liberty in the face of those who can’t. It is indeed a good thing to be free in Christ and be able to enjoy all the varieties of joy that can come our way in the world. But our freedom ends in the moment we become a stumbling block to others. Our number one goal in every instance is to lift others up, and not tear them down. 

Thought for the Day: What have I given up for the sake of others?

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