‘That I might by all means save some.’ 1 Corinthians 9:22 NKJV
Paul wouldn’t yield an inch on Bible truth, but when it came to customs, traditions, and people’s preferences, he refused to fight about them. For example, some of the Corinthian Christians thought because certain meats were offered in worship to idols it was sinful to eat them. So did Paul handle it by standing up and declaring, ‘I’m not going to allow you to impose your unscriptural convictions on me’?
He wrote: ‘Some are accustomed to thinking of idols as… real, so when they eat food that has been offered to idols, they think of it as the worship of real gods, and their weak consciences are violated. It’s true that we can’t win God’s approval by what we eat. We don’t lose anything if we don’t eat it, and we don’t gain anything if we do. But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.’ (1 Corinthians 8:7–9 NLT) Then he bottom-lines it by saying, ‘I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some.’ (1 Corinthians 9:22 NLT)
God didn’t call us to win theological arguments; He called us to win people to Christ. So be gracious towards those who don’t think like you, dress like you, or care about some of the things you care about. Be gracious towards those whose worship style and fine points of theology differ from yours. ‘Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.’ (Ephesians 4:2–3 NLT)
SoulFood: 1 Sam 8–10, Luke 23:26–34, Ps 54, Pr 21:18–21
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023