“A person’s own foolishness leads him astray, yet his heart rages against the Lord.” – Proverbs 19:3 (CSB)
No one likes to be told what to do. We want to make our own decisions. We think we know what is best for our lives. Whether it’s our finances, sexuality, job, marriage, or some other aspect of our lives, we want to be the final arbiter of what is best for us. We want to follow our heart wherever it leads. Then, when that backfires, we have the audacity to blame God for our struggles.
Solomon recognized the hypocrisy in this. When we live the way we want and experience the consequences, it makes no sense to blame God and get angry at him. If we had simply followed his word in the first place, we wouldn’t have caused ourselves heartache and problems.
“But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak.” – 1 Corinthians 8:9 (CSB)
To eat or not to eat? That was the question in Corinth. Was it okay for Christians who felt the freedom to eat meat sacrificed as part of pagan rituals to do so? Or should they abstain from eating if it would harm some of their brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul’s answer to both questions: yes.
We would do well to apply his conclusions to the positions and actions we take today. We may be within our “rights” to do something, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessary or helpful to do it. Christianity is not about declaring our rights. It’s about laying them aside for the good of others. After all, we follow a Savior who did not cling to his rights but willingly relinquished them for our salvation. The least we can do out of gratitude is treat others the same way.