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
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
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.