So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge.
Thoughts for Today:One summer, when I was a boy growing up in Wyoming, my father told me to not hang around with one of the kids in our neighborhood. He said, "Watch out for him. He's got way too much freedom and if you're not careful you will find yourself following him into trouble." Of course, I failed to take my dad's advice and ended up being placed on restriction for most of that summer. My dad accused me of being "weak-minded and easily influenced." He was right. From that moment on, I resolved to not allow my values to be compromised by the persuasive efforts of anyone.
This illustration from my childhood is a slightly different perspective on our passage today. How so? Because one person's freedom might make an activity okay for them, but not necessarily the same for us. Personally, I know there are things I need to stay away from. But those things are not necessarily the same for you. My understanding of this concept has led to a great sensitivity regarding other people's personal convictions. It's a big reason why I don't encourage anyone to follow my example when it comes to liberty -- even if their perspective seems somewhat legalistic. If they ask, I'll discuss it with them, but I won't push anyone to abandon their convictions based on my decision to exercise freedom. Why? Because I don't want to be responsible for leading anyone on a path that might destroy them.
Questions to Ponder:Some people's convictions may seem silly to us. But our knowledge doesn't justify leading anyone on a path toward destruction. Who in your life seems somewhat constricted when it comes to their faith? Have you considered restricting your liberty to achieve greater fellowship?