Am I My Brother’s Keeper?
Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13
Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 8:9
Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak.
In my opinion, we now come to the heart of our discussion on social drinking: What responsibility do I have for someone else’s problems? Don’t we face issues every day where it is possible to find someone else who has a problem with that issue? Wouldn’t we be constantly “giving up” participation in hundreds of things based on our addictive society? Why pick on alcohol?
In the last two days I’ve tried to spell out the answer to that last question. It is alcohol that takes top honors – far away – over all other addictive drugs and/or foods. It has created the worst plague of destruction on our fellow Americans. Therefore, we have “picked on” alcohol more than other issues. We believe we have a responsibility to fight all evils that harm our society, especially our Christian “family.”
The apostle Paul, not we “Nazarenes,” teaches us to care for our “weaker” brothers and sisters in the Lord. There are many ways that we could possibly cause a fellow Christian to stumble. Alcohol is the “biggie;” the “giant;” the “front runner!” I make no apologies for our teaching in this area… we don’t feel it’s a Christ-like attitude to disregard the millions of people that are so deeply and negatively affected by alcohol – simply because I may not have trouble controlling it! The Bible is clear: “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall” (Romans 14:21).
Father, grant me a tender heart toward those whose faith and self-control are weak… help me to serve them in both speech and actions. In Jesus’ Name, amen.