Bible Studies for Life Lesson for March 21- When Members Insist on Their Way
March 10 2010 by A. Shane Nixon, Director of Church and Community Relations, Baptist Retirement Homes

Focal Passages: 1 Corinthians 8:1-4, 7-13; 10:31-33

“But I waaa-ahaha-nnt it!”

Anyone who has children is familiar with this cry. Usually, you hear it in the cattle-shoot lines most of us refer to as the check-out.

As we wait impatiently for our turn, our children are subjected to all sorts of temptation beautifully displayed at eye level.

Now, candy in and of itself is not bad. I, no doubt as you, have treated my children to all sorts of candy at various times. But in children, those who know no bounds or restraint, unlimited delight can do more harm than good.

Paul wrote to the Corinthian Christians about protecting those who are weaker than us.

His example was meat that had been sacrificed for idols … but the message was very similar.

In 1 Corinthians 8:1-3, it seems as if Paul is talking in riddles. It helps to know the original text for “know” as used in both verses.

In verse one; “know” is oida which refers to the investigative process. The word used for “knows” in the second verse is ginosko, a deeper more experiential knowledge that leads to moral wisdom.

Essentially, Paul is telling us that “head knowledge” by itself is useless. It’s only when combined with compassion and kindness that one succeeds in true knowledge.

So why do the different definitions of “know” matter?

How does what Paul is saying apply to our lives? It’s actually very simple and we can use the example our children and candy provides us to see it.

We know (oida) candy, in and of itself, is not all bad. And we know (oida) our children do not have the ability to withstand the temptation when candy is in front of them.

Because we know our children cannot withstand the candy temptation, we know (ginosko) we must refrain from eating it in front of them or displaying it within hands reach.

It’s not that we can’t have it; it’s the compassion we have on them that keeps us from subjecting them to their weakness.

Our focus is not on the candy or even if we ourselves can exercise restraint, but rather what’s best for our children. 

By knowing — ginosko — we honor and protect them. 

Whether it’s meat, candy or something else, we must always remember that just because we can stand strong doesn’t mean those who are watching us can too.  
3/10/2010 8:52:00 AM by A. Shane Nixon, Director of Church and Community Relations, Baptist Retirement Homes | with 0 comments

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