“Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all possess knowledge”. This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.” 1 Corinthians 8:1-2
“Thus, sinning against your brothers and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8: 12-13
Paul was addressing the heart of being a Christian in dealing with division and rights as a believer. This was not dealing with sin, but with preferences and opinions, concerning eating food that was offered to idols. Some of the believers felt that they could eat the food, because of their understanding and knowledge of Christ. But their were new believers who thought it was wrong. These new believers were stumbling, hurt and wounding their conscience.
We are not dealing with meat offered to idols today, but there are a lot of other preferences and opinions that are causing new believers to stumble in Christ today!
Paul gives us a great principle that will help us in our relationships with people today: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”
When we think we have knowledge and understanding about the Lord, we have a ministry, title, serving the Lord for many years it can cause us to get puffed up. That means we feel that we have arrived, we know it all, know one is going to tell me what to do, etc. When we get puffed up we get a big head! This leads to division and disunity.
But, “love builds up!” Love desires to build people up in the Lord. Love cares more about others, because of where they are at with the Lord. That the “mature” Christian is willing to lay down their rights so that we will not cause a weaker brother to stumble in their spiritual walk! Paul says, I will give up my rights so that I can love that brother and not be a stumbling block to their walk with Jesus.
“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Can I suggest that our actions, discussions and our posts on social media will lift up Jesus and our love for them will build them up?”