Friday, February 01, 2013

February 1 - Careful about Freedom

Today's Reading:
2 Samuel 20:14-21:22
1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Psalm 89:1-8
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
1 Corinthians 8:1-2; 9-12

1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. - - - 9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 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? 11 So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ.

What a person knows, understands, and believes has a direct relationship with what that person can or cannot do with a clear conscience. Some Christians, with a clearer knowledge and understanding of truth, may have freedoms that others do not. They must, however, exercise those freedoms with sensitivity and care toward others--Christian or not--who do not share them.

Knowledge that results in carelessness toward others is not wise or Christ-like. Real and mature knowledge is always more concerned with the interests of others than with the exercise of personal freedoms.

Response and Action:
I need to pursue truth and wisdom. The more I know the truth, the more the truth will set me free. My freedoms must always be lived out with reverence for Christ and concern for others. I must guard against knowledge that is blind to the interests of others. I must avoid pride and live with humility. I will not sin by exercising freedoms in ways that are hurtful or destructive toward others.

Lord God, Help me to grow in knowledge and understanding. I want to live in the freedom that comes from a knowledge and understanding of truth. At the same time, Lord, I want to live the truth in love. Give me a sensitivity and awareness of the needs and views of others who may not fully understand what is true or may not have the same freedoms. Give me a love and concern for others that tempers and guides my actions. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Romans 14:12-13 
12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

Revolution of Character: Discovering Christ's Pattern for Spiritual Transformation
by Dallas Willard and Don Simpson

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