Thursday, November 10, 2011

Did I Do That?

I Corinthians 8:9

Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.

In the hit sitcom, Family Matters, Steve Urkel always seemed to find a way to bumble and cause someone else to stumble. He was a loving little nerd but always seemed to be getting in the way and whenever he caused some kind of mishap, he would ask, "Did I dooo thaaaat?!"

How many times have we looked back on the mess we left in our tracks to ask, "Did I do that?" It's so much easier to keep going and blame others when they trip over our stuff instead of asking, "Did I do that?" At some point we have to take ownership in the influence that we have over other people.

As Christians, we have a moral obligation to make sure we don't do anything to cause those who are weaker in the faith to stumble. We've all had some blunders in our lives where we meant something good but like Steve Urkel we just made a mess out of things. Steve was smart he just didn't use common sense sometimes. As believers we have to use common sense to make sure that what we do is for the common good.

The more enlightened we get in terms of God's grace and lose the chains of traditon the more freedom we feel to live life unfettered by the opinions of narrow minded people. On the other hand, we have a responsibiilty to manage our freedom in such a way that it doesn't cause weaker people in the faith to stumble.

The Apostle Paul talked about eating meat sacrificed to idols as being theologically permissable for Christians. Prior to Jesus' liberating the Jews from man-made laws concerning what foods they could eat, the Jews had strict dietary regulations. Jesus said, "It's not what goes in the man that defiles him but what comes out." Paul believed this too but, he also believed that we should not use our freedom to cause somebody else to stumble, so if eating meat that was believed to have been sacrificed to some other god caused new believers to stumble then you shouldn't do that.

If having a glass of red wine for dinner offends your dinner guests because they just became a Christian and they thought that drinking was forbidden, then maybe you should have water that night even though there are health benefits for drinking red wine and you believe that it's okay to drink in moderation. You must exercise your freedom with responsibility.

We must be responsible with our freedom by:

1. Practicing Discretion. Just because you can doesn't mean that you should.

1 Corinthians 8:13

Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.

2. Practice Moderation. Too much of anything ain't good for you.

Ephesians 5:18

The Message (MSG)


Don't drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him.

3. Practice Consideration. Always think about how your actions will impact others. Make sure you do what you do out of love and concern for those that you influence.

1 Corinthians 8


Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that "We all possess knowledge." But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.

Dear God,

Help me to use my freedom responsibly. I know you want me to enjoy life and life more abundantly but I also know that you want me to be a stepping stone and not a stumbling block. If I have said anything or done anything that caused someone weaker in the faith to stumble please forgive me and help them to recover. Today, use me to help someone see you in what I do. Today, I want to see somebody get closer to Jesus so I can look back and say, "Did I do that?"

In Jesus Name,


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