Today's society is all about labels, titles, name recognition and rank. Even I have fallen prey to this ideology of titles and positions as I recently found myself googleing my name to see what type of flattering information came up. Time and time again I have had to remind myself that titles don't matter, which becomes even harder when others are always trying to label you. On any given day I am called Reverend, Pastor, Minister, Sir, Mr. African American. Black, American, Young Man, Priest and more.
What names are you called?
Well the fact of the matter is that because of our status, education, positions or titles we can sometimes get the big head. Paul in our text refers to being puffed up or overly proud. In our context one might just say "we get stuck on or full of our self". When we put things in perspective however all of these labels really don't mean anything. Truth be told life really is not about you or me. (Yes you read it right) I know it's hard to take but life really is not about us. As Christians we believe that our purpose is to love one another and God, praise and worship God, as well as to serve God by bringing others to Christ. All the things we accomplish and status we achieve is really just for our earthly benefit but it's not about us.
In our text for today's reflection the Apostle Paul reminds us that it's not about us, our knowledge, what we eat or don't eat but about God. We are not to make others stumble but direct them safely to God. Let's look to the text:
1 Corinthians 81 Now I want to deal with food offered to statues of gods.
We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes people proud. But love builds them up. 2 Those who think they know something still don't know as they should. 3 But those who love God are known by God.
4 So then, here is what I say about eating food that is offered to statues of gods. We know that a god made by human hands is really nothing at all in the world. We know there is only one God. 5 There may be so-called gods either in heaven or on earth. In fact, there are many "gods" and many "lords." 6 But for us there is only one God. He is the Father. All things came from him, and we live for him. And there is only one Lord. He is Jesus Christ. All things came because of him, and we live because of him.
7 But not everyone knows that. Some people still think that statues of gods are real gods. When they eat food that was offered to statues of gods, they think of it as food that was offered to real gods. And because they have a weak sense of what is right and wrong, they feel guilty. 8 But food doesn't bring us close to God. We are no worse if we don't eat. We are no better if we do eat.
9 But be careful how you use your freedom. Be sure it doesn't trip up someone who is weaker than you.
10 Suppose you who have that knowledge are eating in a temple of one of those gods. And suppose someone who has a weak sense of what is right and wrong sees you. Won't that person become bold and eat what has been offered to statues of gods? 11 If so, then your knowledge destroys that weak brother or sister for whom Christ died.
12 When you sin against other believers in that way, you harm their weak sense of what is right and wrong. By doing that you sin against Christ.
13 So what should I do if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin? I will never eat meat again. In that way, I will not cause them to fall.
Brothers and Sisters, today QUIT BEING SO SELF CENTERED, remember it's not all about you. There is nothing wrong with living life to the fullest, remember that life is for the living. Also remember that as Christians we live with a purpose to bring others to Christ, stumble free.
Live, Love and enjoy but remember at the end of the day it's about God, not about you!
BE WELL, Pastor J (there I go again with the titles)