I love meat! Chicken (fried, of course), beef, pork… On this list goes. And to top it off, I’m a meat-lovers-pizza kind of girl.
My favorite meal is steak. My amazing husband will often grill me a steak for my birthday or for Mother’s Day. I just love him!
Many times when we go out, I order a steak and Dan will order pasta or something like that. The server almost always brings the steak to Dan and the pasta to me. I guess steak must seem more manly.
So for me, a meat lover, the statement Paul makes in 1 Corinthians 8 seems rather … well, fanatical.
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. 1 Corinthians 8:13
What or should I say WHO could be so very important for Paul to proclaim, “I will eat no flesh while the world standeth?”
A weak brother.
That’s it! A brother or sister in Christ who did not quite understand that idols were nothing. Paul knew they were nothing. He had this knowledge from a child.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them. Psalm 115:4-8
This weak brother or sister was not yet established in his faith in Christ. So much so, that if they saw the Apostle Paul eat meat that was offered to idols they might think Paul was worshiping an idol and they should worship that idol, too.
This is why it was crucial to Paul that he take the temporal loss so that he would not be a spiritual stumblingblock to a weak family member. And he warns us about this, as well.
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 1 Corinthians 8:9
Though most of us are not faced with this particular dilemma concerning meat offered to idols in our day and age (and I for one am thankful for that) there are other situations we face when we have to consider how our actions and words would affect others.
More importantly, poor decisions can affect the family. Consider this? Jesus died on the cross for that brother and sister in Christ. That makes us family by blood, the blood of Jesus Christ!
And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 1 Corinthians 8:11
In this chapter we learn how knowledge can puff us up. Our pride can make us feel we have liberty that we really do not have. There are so many good reminders here that admonish us to take the loss so another does not have to lose.
Fanatical? Yes. Crucial? Absolutely.
Loser Bible Study Series Theme Verse:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it. Mark 8:35
“Lose” from the Greek word “Apollymi” means “to destroy fully.” It is translated perish in I Corinthians 8:11, our verse for today.