Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Ouch. I believe that I have liberty in Christ. But Paul is right. It’s easy to be so cavalier with that freedom, that others might be wounded when what they see in me is filtered through their own perceptions. Actually, I think there are lots of ways we can cause our brothers and sisters who are weak in the faith to stumble.
There used to be a combination burger joint and bar here in this very small, not-quite-a-town where we live. My Tacoma truck is very recognizable, primarily because my uncle long ago gave me a decal that says, Silly boys…trucks are for girls. It has been displayed in the back window for almost the entire 17 years I’ve owned the truck.
They Know My Truck
I’m also children’s ministries leader at our church. All the kids know that’s my truck.
Now, if those kids saw my truck parked in the lot of that bar, they’d probably think I was getting a cheeseburger. But what about the one who thought I was getting a beer? What if that was the kid who grew up with a weakness for alcohol? What if that weakness was confirmed by seeing Miss Joy’s truck in the parking lot of the bar?
I have liberty in Christ to have an adult beverage. (Providing I remember that all things are permissible but not all things are wise!) But if the knowledge of that causes another to stumble in the faith, then I haven’t exercised the faith that builds up.
Sorry, gang, it’s just not worth it to me. We must be constantly aware of how our choices are being perceived by those with weaker faith. It may have been one of the things Jesus meant when He told us to deny ourselves as we take up our crosses and follow Him.