LOVE CONSIDERS OTHERS
1 CORINTHIANS 8:1 NKJ
Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
The part of this verse I want to focus on is the last sentence. "Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies."
Knowledge, just knowing something, can make you arrogant. That's the meaning of puffed up. We say that arrogant people are puffed up and full of themselves. But love edifies or builds up. This is really the theme of this entire chapter. Love does what is best for the other person. Love does not simply think about itself but thinks about what will help others.
A big issue in the early church was eating. Some Jewish believers thought everyone had to eat according to Jewish law. Others who came from Gentile backgrounds were opposed to food offered to idols. Paul said food does not commend us to God. He is not caught up in what we eat. But other people had a real problem with food offered to idols. Paul said that idols were nothing and there was only one God. But even though Paul had this knowledge, he would not do anything to wound a brother or sister in the Lord who was really bothered by idols and the food offered to them. Even though Paul was free, love dictated that he think about his brothers and do nothing to make them stumble. Love considers others. How do we help and build our brothers and sisters in Christ?
I grew up in a home with very Baptist parents. Neither of my parents drank alcohol, and I grew up thinking that drinking would send you straight to hell.
I later found out this was not true. Joy grew up Italian, and wine was a part of their culture and meals. But we made a decision early in our marriage that we would not drink.
The key reason was we didn't want others to stumble. We wanted to be a good example. Even though we are free, we choose not to drink because we love others and don't want to open that door to some who are offended by alcohol and others who can't handle drinking. Love considers and builds up others.
Help me, Lord, to consider what is best for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I want to build up, not puff up.