In 1 Corinthians 8-10, Paul is dealing with the issue of meats offered to idols. In today’s reading (see Tuesday’s blog). In today’s reading, Paul warns the Corinthians not to make concessions to idolatry (10:14-22) , assures them that any food from God is from God (10:25-27) and reminds them not to flaunt their freedom in front of believers who have differing opinions (10:28-30). Boy, dealing with foods offered to idols was really complicated; I glad we don’t have any hard issues today!
Don’t miss an obvious point here—Paul assumes that there will be differences among believers. We can’t have freedom in Christ without disagreeing on exactly what that freedom entails. Most of our disagreements are over trivial points of procedure and opinion… though we’ll never admit for a second that our opinion is anything trivial! All families have disagreements. We have to work through family disagreements all the time? How? What are some things healthy families do when there is disagreement?
- We take turns (“You had your way last time, so now it’s my turn.”)
- We talk and come to consensus (we work to come to agreement)
- We give in to the strongest opinion (they'll get spoiled if we do it too much)
- We compromise on a solution (so everyone gets something)
- We go with the majority (life isn’t fair, but we can be sometimes)
Good families use all of these techniques at times. What good families don’t do is have family members get mad when they don’t get their way and run off and jon other families!
The church family will have to deal with disagreements, and a good church family will use all the above options (except to run and to find a new family). Paul reminds us here that there are things that are more important than being right. Sure, there are some things that are non-negotiable, part-n-parcel of the gospel issues. But these are generally not the things that divide us. It was less important for the Corinthians to be right than to be loving. In fact, they could speak with the tongues of men and angels, have the gift of prophecy and fathom all mystery, and if they didn’t have love… But then, that’s another days reading, isn’t it?