Day 2: Positive Influence Part II
Throughout many cultures in the Old Testament, people would sacrifice food to their god(s), and would even leave some of the food in front of small, carved idols in order to give food and drink to their gods. They treated their gods well, believing that if the gods were happy, they would be blessed.
This custom passed down to the Greco-Roman world as well, but the people would not only give food and drink to their gods, but would then also eat the same food themselves so that the food would not spoil.
Apparently, this custom created a large brouhaha within Christianity. If a business partner invited somebody over for dinner, should they eat the food prepared for them, even if it was sacrificed to an idol? Should somebody poor go hungry at a large banquet because the food prepared for them was sacrificed to an idol?
To respond, Paul sticks to his tried and true philosophy of unity and being a positive influence within the community. He basically says, if your decision causes anybody else to waiver in their faith, don’t do it. Instead, do whatever you can to build one another up. As you read today, consider this: Think of at least one person who could use a word of encouragement – go and encourage them today.
READING: 1 CORINTHIANS 8:1-13
Who are the three people who have been the most positive influence in your own life? Think about it: What did they do that had such a strong, lasting impact in your life?
Think of at least one person who could use a word of encouragement – go and encourage them today.
F260 READING: (A Scripture Reading Plan for Busy Believers)
Read: Ezra 7 & 8
Reflect: What did you H.E.A.R. from God today?
Heavenly Father, our culture today is quite different than that in the Greco-Roman world, but I also recognize it may not be as different as I sometimes make it out to be. The people who lived then were still people. They struggled with the same thoughts and behaviors I often struggle with. They struggled with unity among one another in the same way I struggle with unity with others. Today, help me to keep my focus on the things that matter most. May my thoughts, actions, and words be an encouragement to all. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
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