THE HOLY BIBLE (The Living Bible – 1 Corinthians 10:29-33): 29 ….you may ask, must I be guided and limited by what someone else thinks? 30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why let someone spoil everything just because he thinks I am wrong? 31 Well, I’ll tell you why. It is because you must do everything for the glory of God, even your eating and drinking. 32 So don’t be a stumbling block to anyone, whether they are Jews or Gentiles or Christians. 33 That is the plan I follow, too. I try to please everyone in everything I do, not doing what I like or what is best for me but what is best for them, so that they may be saved.
THOUGHTS: To a very large extent we tend to build our lives around people who please us; doing all the things that please us; and having all the things that make us happy. Paul had to address this in the Corinthian church, and I believe that his teaching is included in the Word of God, because we need to be reminded of this today also. In this particular chapter Paul was addressing the subject of some being convinced that they could not eat certain foods, while others were quite OK with that and saw nothing wrong with that, nor how it would affect their relationship with God. Paul’s conviction was that we should be careful to do what pleases God, not just ourselves. In fact Paul directed us to do only those things that will glorify God, and that opens a much wider spectrum of principles about we should do, why we should do it and how we should do it. For God has taught throughout His Word the wide variety of principles and characteristics that He has modeled, and that He is pleased with. So let’s take the example of food that Paul taught about in this chapter. This still exists today, because there are some who feel like there are certain foods that would defile their bodies, and some even feel that this is based on Biblical references – and therefore may displease God. I believe that we are being taught to make every effort to please God in our own convictions rather than creating animosity with that Brother or Sister who is trying to please God through what they eat. Unfortunately, we sometimes become so wrapped up in the unimportant aspects of a Christian’s beliefs and practices, that we lose sight of their relationship with God. In other words, whether we force them to eat what we eat or not, it’s a matter of personal relationship with God and the decisions made by the individual about accepting Jesus as Savior that makes a difference of where they will spend eternity. If we are not careful, we could become a stumbling block to the very people we feel led to help. As a child of God, our aim should always be to please Him through the way that we live, not by trying to be ‘God’. Our path to living like God designed is very clear in His Word, let’s learn to live like that and rub off on as many as we can as they try to do the same. Maybe at that point we will have more impact on the unbeliever also, for we will truly imitate our loving Lord, and act more like He intended. It’s all about God friend, not our personal ideals.
PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for loving us in spite of our silly personal ideals. Thank You for speaking through Paul to redirect our attention towards You instead of trying to impose our imperfections onto others. May our daily goal always be to please You in all that we do and say. To be more like You and to draw closer to You in every way. You have taught us to love everyone and to encourage them instead of tearing down and destroying. May we be more like You every day, and may it be evident to all that we come into contact with, is my humble plea that I ask for myself and encourage my readers to do the same also. For I ask this in the loving and awesome name of Jesus, AMEN!
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