1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Food Offered to Idols
8 Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3but anyone who loves God is known by him.
4 Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘no idol in the world really exists’, and that ‘there is no God but one.’ 5Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords— 6yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
7 It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled. 8‘Food will not bring us close to God.’ We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. 9But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak. 10For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? 11So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. 12But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. 13Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.
Reflection by Lynne Buell
I failed to submit my devotion yesterday due to the fact that I had an appointment way up in Alpharetta to receive my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. It was scheduled for mid-day and because I’m not familiar with this area, I had to plan my trip very carefully. It turns out that the travel time wasn’t as bad as I had expected it to be, and I actually had to wait in my car for about 25 minutes until I could go into the WellStar facility for this shot! Then I realized that I completely forgot about my devotion!
Today, I had the opportunity to look at this scripture and ponder how it affected me. This wasn’t easy. I’ve never worshipped idols which makes it difficult for me to see the sense of it. But as a follower of Jesus, I know that I should try to see it from an idol worshipper’s viewpoint, and I thought that using food as matter of discussion was right up my alley. Then I had a moment of epiphany. I think it’s more about the freedom we have in how we worship God. Our Gods are not in the same form of how we visualize our Gods. We should not feel superior over a community that worships a God that is not how we envision God to be. We should consider making ways to open up dialogue about the various methods of worship. No one method is superior to the other. I think the basis of our faith is love and not whether or not we should eat and sustain our hunger. I am probably missing something from this scripture, but right now, that is how I feel.
Gracious God, help us to see that there are many ways to have a faith of love and forgiveness. Give us the strength to accept our differences. Amen.