"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The Other Love Chapter

      Chapter 8 is "the other love chapter" of 1 Corinthians, and though it is less descriptive of Godly love than parts of Chapter 13, it presents a specific, practical recommendation for showing it. What could be more difficult for a believer than giving up his "Christian liberties" out of deferential love for weaker brethren?
      We could easily say, "He's the weak one, that's his problem?" But the word says, And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend. (1 Corinthians 8:11-13)
      Strong's Greek Dictionary says the word rendered "to offend" in the AV is skandalizō, meaning to scandalize; from G4625; to entrap, that is, trip up (figuratively stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): - (make to) offend.
      So, to offend is a little weak for the actual effect of searing a weaker brother's conscience. If I love my brother as Jesus commanded, I will give up my very life to avoid causing him to stumble in his faith-walk. How does that compare with my actual attitude toward accommodating my brother's weakness?

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