1 Corinthians 8: 9 - 13, Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol's temple, won't he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall. NIV
To say that I am a Christian is to say that I am Christ-like. The simple fact that I tell people who don't have knowledge of Christ that I am a child of God holds me to a higher standard. However, although we may be Christians, it doesn't mean that every believer knows this principle or abides by it in their personal walk.
If you will remember in Genesis 4 when God questioned Cain as to the whereabouts of his brother, he replied to God with a selfish attitude saying, "Am I my brother's keeper?" Whether we realize it or not, whether we accept it or not, as Christians, we are held accountable by our Lord Jesus to be salt and light to a lost world. If we cause our brother, who may be weaker in the faith, to stumble and fall back into sin because we have liberty in Christ, then we will be held personally responsible for being derelict in our service unto the Lord.
We are citizens of the Kingdom of God, who have been given both the authority and the mandate to exemplify the rule of Christ in the earth. Therefore, God holds us, his children, to a higher level of accountability before the world.
We must guard our hearts from selfish indulgences and protect our Christian witness around anyone who may be struggling with their faith in Christ. Does that mean that God wants us to walk around quoting the Word of God and covering ourselves in white robes all the time? No, it doesn't. Let's refer to today's scripture. Paul was addressing someone who was in the presence of a brother who was known to struggle in his conscience when he observed believers who consumed meat that had been offered to idols. Obviously, these two men knew each other well. Therefore, we must protect our witness in the presence of those who know us better than they know Christ so that we might allow the Lord to use us by our good works to show them Christ. (Mt. 5:16)
It grieves the Holy Spirit when Christians choose to satisfy self over the need to be an effective witness for Christ before the world. Allow this word today to challenge you to become a greater warrior in the faith for the sake of those around you who don't know anything about Christ except for the One who lives through you.
Being Salt and Light for Christ's Sake,
Pastor Asa Dockery