What does it say? Christians are to live for the Lord, rather than seeking to please themselves.
What does it mean? Is food spiritual? Was it wrong to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols? This was just one issue causing a dispute among Christians in the early church. Paul didn’t try to solve the problems but addressed the attitudes resulting from the disagreements. Believers will answer to God for their behavior and must act according to their personal convictions when there isn’t a clear mandate from God. Out of love for one another, they should not take part in anything that could cause another Christian to stumble in their faith. Each should serve God with a clear conscience.
How should I respond? Twenty-first century Christians still disagree over gray areas like social drinking, forms of entertainment, and expressions of worship. God cares about how we respond to believers who hold different convictions than we do. Have you judged another Christian regarding a disputable issue? Are you taking part in something that could cause someone new or weak in his or her faith to “stumble”? Everything you do has a ripple effect. Christian liberty should never harm another follower of Christ. What behavior or attitude do you need to change as a result of reading this passage?