How do we determine the best way to live our lives? Whose feelings or perspective do we consider first when making decisions about our own actions? Do we first consider Christ and what the Bible says? Does our influence or impact on others have any part in the decision, or do we simply decide what we want? I believe the Father wants His children to enjoy this life, but I also know that we have been called to be holy. I do not think that those two are mutually exclusive. Paul uses the practice of eating meat that has been offered as a sacrifice to a false god to illustrate this principle. It seems that there was a division in the Church at Corinth caused by this specific practice. There was the one side who believed they had a Bible conviction against it, and the other side basically said, “It belonged to the Creator before those heathens claimed it, so let’s eat.” In this passage we learn that our personal preferences are not to be the key focus of our decision. It is more important that we do not cause a brother in Christ or an unbeliever to be offended by our actions or practices. Obviously, we should first please the Lord! We should never participate in any sinful practice for any reason. If we do not have a definite Bible command to guide us we should consider how our actions will impact those around us before we make a decision to participate or abstain in such situations.
I Corinthians 10:24-33:
24 Let no man seek his own, but every man another's wealth.
25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, that eat, asking no question for conscience sake:
26 For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
28 But if any man say unto you, This is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof:
29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man's conscience?
30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?
31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God:
33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved.