Tag Archives: trouble

Don’t Cause Trouble

By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (The Concern Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

1 Corinthians 10:23-33 (CEV)

Always Honor God

23 Some of you say, “We can do whatever we want to!” But I tell you that not everything may be good or helpful. 24 We should think about others and not about ourselves.25 However, when you buy meat in the market, go ahead and eat it. Keep your conscience clear by not asking where the meat came from. 26 The Scriptures say, “The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.”

27 If an unbeliever invites you to dinner, and you want to go, then go. Eat whatever you are served. Don’t cause a problem for someone’s conscience by asking where the food came from. 28-29 But if you are told that it has been sacrificed to idols, don’t cause a problem by eating it. I don’t mean a problem for yourself, but for the one who told you. Why should my freedom be limited by someone else’s conscience? 30 If I give thanks for what I eat, why should anyone accuse me of doing wrong?

31 When you eat or drink or do anything else, always do it to honor God. 32 Don’t cause problems for Jews or Greeks or anyone else who belongs to God’s church. 33 I always try to please others instead of myself, in the hope that many of them will be saved.

Today’s smack between the eyeballs verse is v32,

 Don’t cause problems for Jews or Greeks or anyone else who belongs to God’s church.

Which ties together the whole chapter.

Don’t cause problems for others, or as the Good News Version puts it

Live in such a way as to cause no trouble either to Jews or Gentiles or to the church of God

That is quite a responsibility.

When I’m sharing opinions, living my way, ploughing my own furrow, am I causing trouble to others or just doing what I want?  Doing what is good and helpful?  Or just making trouble?

May I cause no trouble,
help others to live
your way,
and seek the good of all.

Forgive me the times
when I have caused others to turn away,
lose hope,
or sight of you.

May I seek
always to honour you.

Thanks to Richard Gillin for this photo from St Albans 🙂

78/365 Stern warning

Making Trouble

There are many ways of causing trouble, but ultimately they all lead to one thing – upset and hurt.

Paul is writing to the Galatians.  No sooner had they heard about Jesus and begun to follow him, than arguments were breaking out about what was and wasn’t a necessary part of the Christian life and faith.

Galatians 1:1-12

1-2 From the apostle Paul and from all the Lord’s followers with me.

I was chosen to be an apostle by Jesus Christ and by God the Father, who raised him from death. No mere human chose or appointed me to this work.

To the churches in Galatia.

I pray that God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace! Christ obeyed God our Father and gave himself as a sacrifice for our sins to rescue us from this evil world. God will be given glory forever and ever. Amen.

The Only True Message

I am shocked that you have so quickly turned from God, who chose you because of his wonderful kindness.You have believed another message, when there is really only one true message. But some people are causing you trouble and want to make you turn away from the good news about Christ. I pray that God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from our message to you! It doesn’t matter if that person is one of us or an angel from heaven. I have said it before, and I will say it again. I hope God will punish anyone who preaches anything different from what you have already believed.

10 I am not trying to please people. I want to please God. Do you think I am trying to please people? If I were doing that, I would not be a servant of Christ.

How Paul Became an Apostle

11 My friends, I want you to know that no one made up the message I preach. 12 It wasn’t given or taught to me by some mere human. My message came directly from Jesus Christ when he appeared to me.

Some were causing trouble.  Insisting there were “add-ons” to the gospel they had heard and received, altering what they thought they knew, trying to take them to a different place.

Now there is nothing wrong with healthy debate about what faith means and how it is lived out.  That is often how we learn and grow.  The problem comes when people start insisting on certain things, that are not core gospel principles, trying to force others to see and follow their point of view.  Of course there will always be matters of opinion on what constitutes the core gospel principles, but when Jesus was asked what was most important part of living God’s way, his reply was

36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus answered:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:36-40)

Surely the basis of loving others is not causing trouble for them.  There is right and proper challenge, but there is also love and nurture.  And some things are more important than what I think.

In Romans, Paul says something very important,

The weak and the strong

14 Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarrelling over disputable matters (Romans 14)

i.e., don’t cause trouble for others in their faith.

And so, I have to ask myself, are there things that I do or say that cause trouble for others?  Ways I behave?  Bold pronouncements that  make?  Judgements that are harsh, unfair or ill-informed?  Do I say things that would better be left unsaid?  Or not say things that I should?

Forgive me Lord
the times that I have said and done
stupid things,
harmful things,
words and deeds
that have hurt
and caused others to struggle
or even turned them away from you.

May I always remember love
– your love
to me
and to everyone.
may my actions
point people to you,
not turn them from you