So many things in the world are neutral to God. The Lord is clear that He wants men’s hearts. He does not worry if they are vegan, pescatarian, vegetarian, teetotalers, dancers, R rated moviegoers, shoppers, hunters…The point Paul is stressing, is the fact that what we exclude and include in our lives can impact others.
If we can look beyond our own wants and desires, then often the impact we have on the lives of others will supersede our personal agenda. I am a guy that loves food. I am on a health journey to get back into better health through eating right and exercising more. In the journey, I am faced daily with all-u-can-eat buffets, carbolicious snacks, sugary drinks, and junk food that would bury me.
None of the foods out there are necessarily sinful to eat, but, for me the desire to eat them all is gluttony and clearly not God-honoring. I cannot judge others for their diets or exercise, but If what I eat drives them to destroy themselves, I should simply avoid it, for their sake. Same with drinking, spending, and other activities. When we hold ourselves out as leaders in the faith, we must be sensitive to how our behavior affects others.
Often, it is as simple as a conversation to clarify or to encourage, but we must simply refocus from our own wants and desires to honoring our Lord. As He leads, we no longer feel the need to dispute these minor issues.
There is simply no food, no drink, no hobby, nor any other thing that is more important than the salvation and sanctification of those we face each day. When that becomes our reality, there is little we cannot do, and few issues left for us to make judgements about others. That was where Paul was leading the Corinthians, and that is where we needed to follow.
God Bless You
Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. 2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.[a]
4 So then, about eating food sacrificed to idols: We know that “An idol is nothing at all in the world” and that “There is no God but one.” 5 For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”), 6 yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
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 someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person 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.