Heart of the matter

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Psalm 33:1-11

READ (Verses chosen for reflection)
1 Corinthians 8:13: “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.”

As the Corinthians quarrelled about eating food offered to idols; the Apostle Paul sought to make peace by going into the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter was not so much about what to eat or what not to eat. The heart of the matter was whether the church have love for one another. Hence, the advice was that if eating meat sacrificed to idols causes my brother to stumble, then let me choose not to eat even if it doesn’t matter to my own soul.

Am I prepared to give up my “rights” in order that others can benefit from the sacrifice? Do I even think about these “rights” in the first place? When I come back from home after a tired day at work, I have the right to rest. Yet, when my children occasionally ask me to play with them the moment I come back home; will it benefit them to insist on my rest or could I have my rest later? It goes into the heart of the matter. Do I really love them and want them to know that Jesus is helping me to love them? The choice is clear but I struggle.

As the Lord wills it, may He who is able help me to deny my own rights for the benefit of others. Amen.