“It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.”
I always say that to think nobody is watching you is to be irresponsible, and to think that everybody is watching you is to be full of yourself.
Today, I want to focus on the former part of that statement.
As a Believer, even your freedom must be regulated for the sake of the people you are trying to lead, and those who might still be learning. You must be an example.
See Apostle Paul’s admonition in Romans 14:15: “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.”
Paul was very clear in the earlier verses that it was not a sin to eat any kind of meat.
But in the verse above, he makes a salient point about living responsibly as Believers.
Even when it comes to actions that are not necessarily sinful, we must bear in mind the people ‘for whom Christ died.’
1 Timothy 3:7 talks about the requirements for anyone who would be a spiritual leader.
Paul says that he must be well thought of by outsiders. In other words, it does matter what people, even non-Christians, think or say about you.
“Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
1 Timothy 3:7
This doesn’t in any way mean you should live for people’s approval. We were called by God and by Him we will be judged.
However, our actions can weaken the receptiveness of some people to the message of the gospel and so the scriptures warn us mildly about our conduct.
Your every move should be organized with the lost in mind. It may require having mercy on someone who doesn’t deserve it, letting go of some pleasures once in a while, being intentional about the places you go or don’t go.
It might sometimes have an impact on what you eat or wear. There is no list of things you should or shouldn’t do.
Just ensure that your heart is in the right place and make decisions bearing in mind that the people for whom Christ died are watching you.