IF YOU KNOW WHAT'S GOOD FOR THEM
1 CORINTHIANS 8:1 & 13 NKJ
8 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
13 Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.
You may be thinking I missed the phrasing on this devotional's title.
My mother used to tell me that I would do what she and my father instructed if I knew what was good for me. In other words, it was obey or deal with the consequences. And for the most part, I obeyed. For the most part.
But here in this entire chapter, the Holy Spirit, through the apostle Paul, is instructing the believers to do what was good for their family in Christ.
The subject at hand was food offered to idols. For many, they did not believe in idols and could eat without it bothering their conscience. They knew that an idol was nothing. They knew that there was only one true God. They knew. They had knowledge.
But others, who were not as strong in their faith, were bothered by food offered to idols. Or eating this food was causing these Christians to get off on the wrong path.
So, what is the solution? Paul answers that question in verse one and then explains his answer in the next twelve verses. The answer is walk in love. What is best for the other person? The chapter is summed up by Paul stating he will not eat food that causes a brother to stumble. Paul knew that the Lord's way was to do what was good for them.
When we speak of walking in love, we are not talking about a romantic feeling. We are talking about doing what is best for the other person.
Knowledge puffs up or makes arrogant. Love edifies or builds up.
Years ago, I had dinner with a brother in Christ who was telling me how his father had died. The views he shared did not line up with my understanding of God and New Testament teaching. So, I gave him a small sermon correcting his doctrine.
That was knowledge. And it did not help this brother at all. He was hurting. He did not need someone straightening out his views on divine healing. He needed someone to be concerned about his hurt. Someone who would remind him that heaven is wonderful, and he would see his dad again.
So many people do not need to be blasted. They need to be built up. They don't need anything causing them to stumble. They need help to stand.
Help me, Father, to do what is good for others. Help me become a builder of people.