Paul was facing a tough issue. How do we separate grace from practical ministry? To become a Christian, the person needed only to confess the need for Christ and believe God raised Christ from the dead for that purpose. There were no religious requirements. Still, when one gives his life to the Lord, it is no longer one’s own. So, Paul was trying to get the Corinthians to understand that their behavior regarding matters of preference still impacted the lives of others. So in the case of eating meat that was not kosher or that was offered to idols–Paul’s line was its impact on non-believers and young believers. If their behavior would keep others away from Christ, they needed to evaluate the behavior and decide how important that thing really was. No meat is as important as the spiritual life of another. So if eating meat offered to idols caused another to stumble, LET IT GO!
The same principle holds true in our lives. If there are things we eat, drink, watch or buy that really impact others ability to trust God–those things need to be out of our lives. No matter our personal beliefs around whether something is sin or not, if it hurts another’s chance to know Christ–it needs to be out of our lives. Conversely, we cannot allow religious acts to replace the truth about our heart. If we are trusting God and following the Lord closely, we will be selfless enough to honestly evaluate what is sin and what is a preference. We simply need to be selfless people that do not allow our preferences to control our lives. If we are seeking God first, then He will make clear the dividing lines for preference and sin. We have to remain on guard and allow the spirit to guide us away from a life that hinders others from knowing Christ!
God Bless You
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24
No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
25 Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, 26 for, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.”[f]
27 If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. 28 But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, both for the sake of the one who told you and for the sake of conscience. 29 I am referring to the other person’s conscience, not yours. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience? 30 If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for?
31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.