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Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday's Message: Why Offend?

Why Offend?:
I will have to answer to the Father for the way that I have lived in this life, just as every child of God will.  We all have diverse desires in our flesh.  Nothing illustrates human diversity like music.  Almost everyone has some distinct preferences when it comes to music.  I am not just referring to the desire to listen to different genres of music, but also the different styles of artists that appeal to different folks.  While the Bible has a great deal to say about music, I do not wish to focus on what music we are listening to, but rather how we treat others who don’t have our same music standards.  Picture this, you are giving a person a ride in your car, and you are aware or become aware that this person has a different belief about music than you do.  What do you do?  Do you say, “This is my car, and if you want a ride, you can deal with it!” Or, would you think, “Well, I do not wish to offend my brother or sister; so, perhaps, I will defer to his or her standard of music?”  The relationship and influence that you currently have or wish to build with that person is more important than our personal preferences.

I believe, that we have become so driven by “do’s” and “don’ts” that we have failed to consider what is going to honor God most in each individual situation.  Christian, how about you and I decide that we will not allow our egos or preferences to cause division between us and our brothers and sisters in Christ?  Please, do not think that I am suggesting that we not take a stand on what is right!  I am merely suggesting that we should avoid offending others at every opportunity.  When we take a stand it should be on clear Bible command and not on a personal biblical preference.

I Corinthians 8:1-13:
 1  Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 
2  And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. 
3  But if any man love God, the same is known of him. 
4  As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. 
5  For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) 
6  But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 
7  Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 
8  But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. 
9  But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 
10  For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 
11  And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 
12  But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 
13  Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

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