Devotional Gems by Jolene
Created for Bible Study for Kids
Conscience Care 102
1 Corinthians 8:9-13
By J.D. Griffith
My friend yells at me when I drink liquid from a bowl—like when bringing
the bowl to my mouth to drink the milk left over from cereal. I don’t
get what upsets him about this. I’ve done this all my life. Using a
spoon to ladle the milk up to your mouth is sloppy—why not slurp it
directly from the bowl? Besides, it’s way faster! Case closed.
But God doesn’t see it like that. When I slurp liquid directly from a
bowl, I make someone else uneasy. Why should I care if I offend someone?
Does God care?
Paul gives us a hint. "Be careful, however, that the exercise of your
freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak." He was referring
to eating food that was sacrificed to idols. Some Christians thought
that the meat was tainted. Those days, only priests would eat the meat
sacrificed to God. Regular folks had no business eating consecrated
The world is full of pagans who believe in and worship many gods. Then,
Christians were often offered food that had been sacrificed to a pagan
deity. Some people felt guilty, some gladly accepted the food, others
Those who ate the food were criticized by the ones who refused. Paul
makes it clear: IF the one who ate the sacrificed food caused another to
eat the same food, against his conscience, the first person
caused another to sin. This is why God protests: Christ died for us all.
The person who objected was weak because his conscience told him to
refuse, and yet by accepting the food, he did wrong in his own eyes. To
entice someone to do what they feel is wrong is a sin for us.
We ARE our brother’s keepers. It’s Jesus command that we love one
Previously we learned that consciences can be programmed. Every person’s
conscience is programmed differently. Some folks are offended by loud
music, others blast their IPODS. Some think that is rude, others think
it’s generous sharing. It depends on taste, and conscience programming.
Clearly, our consciences require daily cleansing and tweaking to remain
steeped in God’s truth. The blood of Christ is the only thing that
purifies it, keeping it clean and in good working order.
Take Home Nugget
Try singing this in the shower getting ready for a new day. "Create in
me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not
cast me from your presence or take the Holy Spirit from me. Restore to
me the joy of your salvation, and grant me a willing spirit to sustain
me." Psalm 51:10-12
In light of this, I do not slurp liquid from my bowl in that person’s
"Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire,
called conscience" George Washington
"To sin by silence when they should protest makes
cowards of men." Abraham Lincoln