But not everyone possesses this knowledge. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat sacrificial food they think of it as having been sacrificed to a god, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled.
1 Corinthians 8:7 (NIV)
Read: 1 Corinthians 8:1-12
Consider: We’ve thought about idols and Christian freedom on a number of occasions previously. In 1 Corinthians 8:7 Paul speaks of those who are so accustomed to idols that their conscience is defiled because they associate eating meat offered to idols as somehow defiling them. It is interesting that Paul talks about those who are ‘… so accustomed to idols …’ (v7). This got me thinking about those who have allowed themselves to become so accustomed to idols that they no longer allow their conscience to be pricked.
In 1 Timothy 4 Paul speaks of those who follow false teaching in this way: Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:2). While we cannot say that some Christians have had their consciences seared with a hot iron, there are those who have allowed their consciences to be so anaesthetised (numbed) that they adopt the world’s standards, instead of God’s standard. This can apply to many of the things we would regard as idols in our society today. We need to ask if our conscience is still receptive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, or if we have allowed the world to numb our hearts so much that we no longer react as we should.
Also we must remember that an idol can be anything that we put in a place of prominence above God. This can mean that many things that appear innocent and within the concept of Christian freedom, can become areas that we allow to pull us away from devotion to God.
Pray: Father, prevent our consciences becoming so calloused that we no longer react to situations where we should be cautious and think about the effect of what we are doing on the faith of those around us. Amen