04.07.21 | Putting Others’ Needs First
In today’s BREAD from 1 Corinthians 8, Paul continues to address the issues that are causing disunity between the brothers and sisters in the church of Corinth. Particularly, the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols is the point of contention.
Paul first acknowledges that they possess the “knowledge” that the idols are not real. And because the meat was offered as a sacrifice to false gods, it was actually ok to eat it. After all, God made the meat, so why waste it when we all know that there is only the one true God? (verses 1-4)
However, these meat-eaters did not see how their actions were causing those who did not possess this “knowledge” to stumble and sin (verses 5-8). So what does Paul declare as the answer to this problem? Love.
A love that is careful to consider others before yourself, before your knowledge; when personal freedoms are set aside for the sake of someone else. This kind of love seeks to help out a brother or sister who could stumble and sin.
During today’s fasting and prayer focus, take time to reflect on where there are places in your life that may have an attitude of superiority. Where do you feel “free” to do something, but have not considered how this “freedom” may be affecting others. Ask the Lord if there is anything you are doing that could cause a brother or sister to stumble.
Allow the Lord to show you the things in your life that you consider your “right” to do, but do not account for the needs of your brothers and sisters. Take a moment to allow the Lord to speak to your heart. As He does, begin to ask His forgiveness for not putting others before yourself and your own rights. Repent of any superiority or pride that exists within you.
As always, take the time to share vulnerably, with a brother or sister in your community, what you have heard and seen from the Lord. Ask for help to see any of your blind spots where your behavior may cause someone to stumble. Take a moment to thank the Lord for showing you His way of living in a community that loves each other well.