Do you like to exercise your rights? Do you revel in your freedom? Do you flaunt your freedom? Do you believe you are entitled to the freedoms you have? Do you ignore anyone and everyone around you as you exercise your freedom?
We have all seen the person who does whatever they want whenever they want. Perhaps we know someone who fits that description. Perhaps we are one of those people. We all take our freedom for granted to some degree. We often don’t realize just how obnoxious we are.
We have heard the person cussing like a sailor in the amusement park while we walk by with our young children. We cringe as we walk by and hope our five-year-old didn’t hear those words and repeat them. And we have wondered who their parents were and what they taught them.
We have seen the popular kids in school flaunting their popularity while other kids hide in the background so as not to be made fun of. We have seen those kids on the fringe crying or looking downcast as they watch the popular kids, wishing they were popular.
We may be a successful businessperson, enjoying the good life. Are we flaunting our wealth in front of those who are less fortunate? Perhaps we have not even considered the question. We may the strong who have become a stumbling block for the weak.
Paul admonishes the church in Corinth not to be a stumbling block. The context for his admonishment was eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. In the example Paul used, many of the Jews and Christians believed meat sacrificed to idols was unclean. They believed it should not be eaten. But there were some who realized it was just meat and they could eat it, so long as they were not worshiping the idol.
The principle applies to any situation. If we believe we are free to take advantage of our wealth to go on a European vacation, we should not brag about that in front of those who cannot. If we believe we are free to speak our mind, we are not to use that freedom to offend others with harshness or rudeness.
I pray we all use our freedom wisely. I pray we are not a stumbling for those who do not believe they have the same freedoms. I pray each one of us think carefully about our speech and actions. Be aware of others. Treat one another well. Do not be a stumbling block. Show love to everyone.
1 Corinthians 8:9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.