Let us not become so distracted and focused on our freedoms that we forget to be purposeful about building each other up.
Don't just "not do". Definitely do not cause your brother to stumble, or grieve or be destroyed. But more than that - do build each other up and encourage each other.
20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.
What is the work of God?
Ephesians 2:10 says For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
We are the work of God. Every believer. Weak or strong. We have no business tearing down what God is building up.
You're not merely dealing with a man, you're dealing with a man, verse 15, for whom Christ died, you're dealing with a man who is part of the kingdom and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, verse 17, and now he says you're dealing with one who is a work of God.....would you take a black marker pencil and go into the local museum and find the masterpieces of art and scribble on them? Would you take a knife and cut through a Rembrandt? Would you take a Stradivarius and crush it over your knee? Then why would you tear down what is the work of the ultimate master of all?
Wow, that puts it in perspective, doesn't it?
All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
The food itself isn't the issue. Eating food in and of itself, is not wrong. But doing anything to cause a weak believer to stumble is wrong, no matter what it is.
It's only a thing. Food is only a thing. Cards are only a thing. A TV is only a thing. Recreation is only a thing. It is how we use those things that is the issue. And sad to say, there are Christians who would drink their beer and drink their wine and drink a lot of other stuff and flaunt their liberty no matter what anybody thought. Consequently there is a rift in the fellowship.
We need to build each other up. Intentionally. Purposefully. Proactively.
And don't tear down the work of God.
Tomorrow's scripture focus: Romans 14:22-23