1 Corinthians 8:12-13 "When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall." A number of people are sitting in a small boat. All of a sudden, one man begins to drill a hole under his seat. When the people complain, he retorts, "What complaint do you have? After all, I'm drilling the hole under my own seat." Finally a wise man answers him, "We are all in the same boat. The hole may be under your seat, but the water that comes in will make the boat sink with all of us." In a spiritual sense, we are all in the same boat. Every good thing that we do affects all mankind, and the same is true of all evil. In every good act that we do, we imitate God insofar that we ultimately bring good to all humanity.
"No man is an island," wrote John Donne, an English poet and theologian. We are all a part of a larger whole; we do not live merely to ourselves. Our actions affect others and others' affect us. Therefore, when contemplating an action, it is not enough to consider its impact on us. We also must ask how the action will impact our brothers and sisters in Christ. In the text above , we see saints that were converted for some time now, indulging in food that was offered to idols. The scriptures tell us that all foods are acceptable provided, it has been prayed over and thanks given for the same. However, younger Christians who were made aware of the dangers of idolatry, stumbled seeing other Christians partake of the same meal. Some tried eating and afterward experienced great convictions. Therefore Paul resolutely stated, that we should abstain from food offered to idols, because of the conscience of others concerned. If we do something that causes our weaker brother to stumble, we sin against Christ. What a thing to do! Paul says that if something he does causes a brother to stumble, he will not do it again, how about you? As we are
taught in the Scriptures, one of the ultimate goals of man is the imitation of God. We do this in every good act, paralleling God's own creation of good. The most direct way that we can do this, however, is in our actions toward our fellow man. When God first created man, Adam was one. God then said, "It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a helper as his counterpart" (Genesis 2:18). As long as man was alone, he could not really be good. For to be good is to imitate God, the giver of good. A man alone would have no one to whom to bestow good, and therefore, could not be called "good."
One of the contributing factors to this end is the culture in which we live. Let's look honestly at our world. First, it's a secular culture, which means it has little interest in religious matters or in the Bible. It teaches us to trust in ourselves and in the things we can see rather than in our unseen God. Our world is also materialistic. Its primary interest is in receiving material things and gaining wealth, not in focusing on others and giving sacrificially. It's an anti-Christian culture that acts in opposition to the way Jesus calls us to live. Remember that what we do for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal. If every good thing that we do affects all mankind, then may I encourage you to create ripples in your pond!