“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.” (1 Cor. 8:13) For how long again? That is a very long time.
The heart of Paul for Christ was self-evident by his actions, we have a few letters from the Scriptures about that life, but his walk with Christ was for over twenty years, and in the entirety of that time he did not falter. I would ask you to think today though on the person that he was speaking about in that particular verse, what many today would consider the “weaker brother.” “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12)
The individual in question can repeat this verse, can even offer a pretense of believing it, but one must ask, if it is necessary for us to abstain from certain practices in their presence, for how long. Well, Paul said basically forever. That would mean only one thing, this brother or sister in Christ is not going to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord. (2 Peter 3:18) To others the word says, “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.” (1st Cor. 8:4), and to the ones he wrote to in the Book of Hebrews, he was what some would consider today downright rude, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Heb. 5:12)
To be all things to all men one must study men, the human being, and then with the wisdom that the Lord has imparted to a man, be able to discern not only where that saved individual is in their walk with Christ at this particular point in their lives, but to assist them in the areas where their faith is not strong. For that is what we are speaking of here, that brother in Christ, and I must emphasize that part, who for whatever reasons has no deep-seated faith in Christ in their life, they do not trust completely.
I bring this particular subject to the light for this is the world that we live in today, the never offend, every one is to be treated as a weaker brother world. And those who for whatever reason that have determined to stay weak, will call the ones that are determined to grow in that grace and knowledge, no matter the cost to themselves, too adamant, too contentious, as high-minded, as ones that are to see themselves with a continuous, life-long log in their eye. (Matt. 7:3) Is it a lack of trust, and therefore a lack of faith that keeps these individuals weak, or is it a desire to not submit fully to the will and Word of God, for I can at this point in my walk find no other reason, no other excuse.
For something to grow, a part of something must die, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24) And here is where those who will not step out in faith are considered the weaker brother. They have found a place on the path that has become comfortable to them, they can see that ahead is the valley of the shadow of death, or to continue upon it, to tread further, would mean that another part of them would have to die, would have to be given over in complete submission to the will of God, and they have refused to do so.
These, my friends, are those that will be ashamed at His coming, (1 John 2:28) these are those that are not willing to cast out their eye from them, (Matt. 18:9) and enter into the kingdom of the Most High bloodied and bruised, these are they whose faith is weak, and we must bear them, and there are many. A man must purpose in his heart what price he is willing to pay for the prize that is Christ, (Phil. 3:14) and it is sad to say, but very few see Him as worthy of all that they are.