Open In App

Session 15

Why can’t I do what I want?

Read: 1 Corinthians 8

When we discuss hot button issues today, “food sacrificed to idols” is not at the top of our list. But in the early church in Corinth, what Christians ate was a serious concern. Many non-Christians sacrificed animals to idols then ate those animals as part of their idol worship.

Believers in the community wanted to honor God with all they did, but they kept running into this dilemma: How do you share meals with non-believing friends and family without dishonoring Jesus or offending the people you’re eating with?

Believers in Corinth weren’t sure what to do. Some ate without much concern; others were freaking out. Paul answers by reminding the church of the following:

  • Idols are dead and meaningless.
  • Food sacrificed to something dead and meaningless is just food.

Therefore, the decision to eat or not to eat is a matter of conscience, not a command. If what we eat or drink could harm our ability to represent Jesus well, then it’s better to avoid eating or drinking. If saying no will offend the person, making it harder to show Jesus’ love, we have the freedom to eat what’s set before us.

In all things, it is better to look after the interests of others than our own.

Translation: It’s not all about us. In all things, it is better to look after the interests of others than our own. If someone believes something is a sin, and they do it anyway, then it is a sin for them (Romans 14:23). We may feel it’s OK to have a drink, watch a certain movie, or eat certain food, but if doing so hurts the spiritual health and growth of other believers, or causes them to sin, then it becomes a sin for us because we’ve caused them to stumble (1 Corinthians 8:9-12).

Even when we know something is OK, keep this in mind: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Even if all the knowledge we have is based on true faith, it will end up making us proud if we don’t apply it in love.

So instead of asking, “Am I allowed to do this?” a better question to ask is, “Will this build others up?” Because when we put others first, we use our freedom in a way that honors Jesus and doesn’t cause others to stumble.  

Reflect:

  • In what area of your life are you using your freedom to serve yourself?
  • What is one step you can take today to begin putting others first in that area?

1

Do we all have spiritual gifts?

Do we all have spiritual gifts?

Read Now
2

What it means to be united

What it means to be united

Read Now
3

The one time boasting is OK

The one time boasting is OK

Read Now
4

What happens when the church comes together

What happens when the church comes together

Read Now
5

The church is bigger than a building

The church is bigger than a building

Read Now
6

What your silent judgment says about you

What your silent judgment says about you

Read Now
7

Do you do what you say you believe?

Do you do what you say you believe?

Read Now
8

What happens when sin goes unaddressed

What happens when sin goes unaddressed

Read Now
9

How to know when popular opinion is wrong

How to know when popular opinion is wrong

Read Now
10

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

Read Now
11

Sex…It’s not about me

Sex…It’s not about me

Read Now
12

God, please save my spouse

God, please save my spouse

Read Now
13

Change how you see instead of what you see

Change how you see instead of what you see

Read Now
14

Don’t tie the knot until

Don’t tie the knot until

Read Now
15

Why can’t I do what I want?

Why can’t I do what I want?

Read Now
16

Why give time and money to the church?

Why give time and money to the church?

Read Now
17

Do I have anything to offer?

Do I have anything to offer?

Read Now
18

Are you training to win?

Are you training to win?

Read Now
19

Where to turn when life is more than you can bear

Where to turn when life is more than you can bear

Read Now
20

What are you going to chase today?

What are you going to chase today?

Read Now
21

The greatest responsiblity we have as Christians

The greatest responsiblity we have as Christians

Read Now
22

Why submit to my husband?

Why submit to my husband?

Read Now
23

Why searching your heart is a helpful practice for every day

Why searching your heart is a helpful practice for every day

Read Now
24

You were made for this

You were made for this

Read Now
25

Does church even need me?

Does church even need me?

Read Now
26

Are you serving with the right motivation?

Are you serving with the right motivation?

Read Now
27

How to go from good to better to best

How to go from good to better to best

Read Now
28

Does structure limit the Holy Spirit?

Does structure limit the Holy Spirit?

Read Now
29

Are you going through the motions?

Are you going through the motions?

Read Now
30

Why does an empty tomb matter?

Why does an empty tomb matter?

Read Now
31

You are who you hang around

You are who you hang around

Read Now
32

How to embrace the unknown

How to embrace the unknown

Read Now
33

You don’t need to fear death

You don’t need to fear death

Read Now
34

How can I make a difference in the world?

How can I make a difference in the world?

Read Now

We want you to have a safe experience while using our site.

Unfortunately, there are security risks associated with your browser. To keep you protected we will be discontinuing support to this browser. Please visit http://browsehappy.com/ for a secure browser update.