The theme I noticed popping up throughout today's passage was love and concern for others.
1 Corinthians 8:1b But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.
Knowledge, particularly knowledge about God and the Bible is a good thing, but it can also make us arrogant if love does not take precedence.
(Emphasis mine) 8:9 and 13 - But you must be careful so that your freedom does not cause others with a weaker conscience to stumble.... So if what I eat causes another believer to sin, I will never eat meat again as long as I live - for I don't want to cause another believer to stumble.
Paul was willing to never eat meat again in his life if it would help a fellow believer. That's a pretty big sacrifice. Would I be willing to be a vegetarian (no steak?!) - not for my own benefit, but for someone else's?
As my Life Application Bible says....
Christian freedom does not mean that anything goes. It means that our salvation is not obtained by good deeds or legalistic rules; it is the free gift of God. Christian freedom, then, is inseparably tied to Christian responsibility.....When we truly love others, our freedom is less important to us than strengthening the faith of a brother or sister in Christ.
Are we willing to love our fellow believers like this?
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage: 1 Corinthians 12-14