The Weaker Brother Principle

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baconFor if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble. 1 Corinthians 8:10-13

As Christians we may offend each other from time to time. While that happens, Paul says we should be careful to not purposefully cause a weaker brother to stumble. If I exercise a liberty I have in Christ and set a pattern for a brother who has a different opinion (about things like dietary restrictions, alcohol use, etc) and he disobeys his conscience and follows my example and then feels guilt, I have wounded him. Paul came to a personal commitment to not do that. he would rather forego any privilege for the sake of the ‘weaker brother’.

Do I care more about my own privileges or other people? What liberty am I exercising that causes others to stumble?

God, to be others centered is difficult. Would you prompt me by Your Spirit whenever someone could be wounded by my liberties. I agree ahead of time to lay down those privilege for the sake of others. Today, is a wonderful day of hanging out with my mom and then Saturday night worship. I am looking forward to being with everyone in person again.

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