We can be correct in our ways but sometimes, it’s not caring for others. Let me expound on that as we preach today.

The third problem that Paul addressed to the Corinthians is this food offered to the idols.

Should the people eat or not eat food offered to the idols?

Our one big message for today is “Others First.”

Read with me 1 Corinthians 8:


Some of you may be wondering what is happening.

There are so many issues about the food!

Here’s the context:

The Gospel was preached from Israel all over the world. The Gospel traveled across the nations.

It also went up to the nation of Greece, in the middle of Corinth.

Paul was tasked to preach to the Gentiles — the non-believers. Since Paul experienced a conversion, he started to preach the Gospel which was really converting people to Christianity.

It took a while but here it is:

There are some churches of Christ’s followers coming together from different places.

Take note that people from Greece grew up with their mythology.

They were surrounded by temples for Zeus, Apollo, Aphrodite, and Athena.


The capital of Greece, which is Athens, comes from the worship of Athena, goddess of heroic endeavor and military victory.

The people are used to offering animal sacrifices at the temple.

Number 1 is clear. Christians know that they should not eat what was offered to the idol.

But Numbers 2 and 3 are not clear– a gray area.

So, a conflict.

The Food Issue

Imagine: In Corinth at that time, there was a wedding feast, there was a banquet, a birthday party, or a simple business meal in someone’s home.

Some of the hosts were not yet deep in faith.

But some already were. For them, it was normal to include in their meal the meat from the temple.

If you are a Christ follower already, you cannot be choosy about the food that the hosts have prepared for you. It would be impolite to ask if the meat came from the temple.

This food issue was dividing people.

Another context here is that Paul was a tentmaker.

He was an entrepreneur. He didn’t demand income from the church to sustain him. As an entrepreneur, he understood that it was not just about being formal and strict. It was all about relationships.

What would a good Christian do at that time? Most members of the church in Corinth knew that food was good. They believed it was okay to eat the meat and that the people who were complaining should grow up.

But some minorities of the Christian church in Corinth believed otherwise. And Paul needed to address this because it was already dividing the church and hurting the relationships.

Here’s a side note: If something is already hurting relationships, do something about it.

Paul tried to address the food issue.

To Eat or Not To Eat

The question seems to be “To eat or not to eat?”

But Paul knew that there was a deeper relationship problem that was dividing the church. That’s why he addressed it wisely.

On the surface, it was a theological question– but underneath, it was a pastoral question. This food conflict was already making matters worse for the early church that was forming in Corinth. Furthermore, Paul said:

Paul’s address to the Corinthians was very brilliant. Instead of asking if it was lawful to eat the food offered to others, he was asking: “How can we strengthen our relationships?” He flipped the question to something deeper: “Is this helping us or is this hurting us?”

What’s Important

It was clear that Paul wasn’t just looking at what they were doing– but he was looking into who they were all becoming as a church. Paul’s advice was deep yet practical.

It was a blow to the heart: You may be correct but are you compassionate?

The “Others First” culture is not so popular because what we see on social media platforms is this: We have this banner statement that says, “Stop caring what others think.”

There is some truth to it especially if you are a person who is greatly controlled by the approval of others. But let’s be careful about how to apply it.

This is tough. Please stop caring about what others think of you. But I want to sublimate it by saying, “Can you instead think of how God thinks of you?”

The Gray Area

“Stop caring what others think” can be applied selfishly too if all you do is think about yourself and not think about others. Let me give some examples that fall into the gray area:

  1. Unmarried couples who go on vacations They post photos of their vacation on their social media pages. People who know that they’re not married would see their photos and they may not approve of it.

The unmarried couple can say, “We stayed in different bedrooms. We did nothing wrong. We don’t care about the opinion of others!”

Yes, you can be as pure as you can be… The problem, however, arises when some people who have a weaker faith may not fully understand. They might think that it’s okay to do that.

It’s tough to preach this but I’m trying to preach what Paul was trying to say to the people who were divided in Corinth.

Our actions may be a scandal to others. As good Christians, let’s be mindful. Let’s act with care. There is truth in “not caring what others think” but we must care for others too. We might lead them to untoward actions because of our example.

  1. Can you imagine Bo driving or riding a Porsche or a Ferrari? Or living in a yacht? Or wearing a Patek Philippe watch? I cannot even pronounce it properly. They say that it’s not a watch but a “timepiece.”

Imagine our spiritual leader living in a grand mansion. I’m so thankful that I follow Bro. Bo because he lives simply. He has all the right to live luxuriously. He’s an entrepreneur. He’s not earning from our ministries. He even gives to our ministries.

He knows and his family knows that they have a responsibility to the Community.

We follow their example. We can adjust our wants and wishes so that we can serve others well.

Again, it’s not bad to dream big and to invest big to achieve big. But let’s be mindful that in the process of achieving big, others may be watching. We don’t explain ourselves. We don’t walk around with captions about our context.

Big Mistake

3. Who among you here likes to swim?

Some find people wearing swimsuits scandalous. But of course, if that person is in the swimming pool, what do you think she would wear?

Some aren’t comfortable to see people wearing gym clothes that are too “tight.” But what do we expect them to wear when they’re in the gym?

One of the biggest mistakes in our society today is that we make the gray area into black and white, and the black and white into a gray area.

Paul addressed the people by not directly telling them what to do and what not to do. He implied for people to think, to do things with discretion, and to have prudence in their actions.

You may not know it, but people follow you. People look at your example. Whether you have the right to do things or not, you influence people. Our invitation is, as good Christians, let us lead people to Christ, not to ourselves.

4. Does it apply to our relationships?

Paul gives these concluding words on the subject:>

The world says, “Me first.” But God says, “Others First.”

You have all the rights in the world. If you want to, you can do so. But before you do, stop and think of your impact on others. Think of how others may perceive this. Will we be leading others to Christ or the other way around?

Even in Our Relationships…

I’d been married to my wife for 10 years this July. God is good. We are thankful

for the Community that helps sustain our marriage and our family. But I cannot count how many times in those 10 years we fought. My wife is listening, but I will preach this, anyway. We’ve had our arguments.

I am very articulate – let’s say it as that. I can spin the conversation or the narrative my way. In the end, I would win… I may be right– but I am not kind…

I’m confessing to you that this is my struggle too. I may have valid rights as a husband, as a father of our children, and as a preacher. But I forget to think about how my wife would feel and how I made her feel about herself. Sometimes, she feels so low, so bad, and it’s hard to recover from it. Sometimes, I become the sin itself. I’m not bringing her closer to the Lord. Mea culpa. My mistake.

That is what Paul is preaching to us today: Are we correct or are we compassionate?

Many times, I’m not being Jesus to my wife.

Admit it, I know that you have that struggle too.

It gets the better of us. What do we do? We evaluate our #LifeGoals.

And talking about the writer of the letter to the Corinthians: St. Paul. I looked into his examples and I realized: Yes, the world tells us it’s a life goal to be an achiever, to be the best that we can be, to be wealthy.

That’s what the world says: Me first. But Christ says Others first.

Life Goal

And this is the Life Goal that I got from St. Paul. Let’s read:

My goodness. I have never heard anyone say, “My life goal is to be a slave.

You know why Paul gets to say that? He has no earthly master– but he has a Divine Master. This is where it gets so beautiful. I want to drive this home…

Paul said: “It is my life goal to be a slave for others. I will be a slave all my life.” Because his goal is to bring many to Christ.

We look to Jesus who was a slave to all of us.

One Thursday night, the Divine Master did something only a slave was supposed to do. It was a beautiful symbol. You know what He did? The Divine Master, the Preacher – Jesus– who healed many, who created a lot of miracles, who raised the dead to life again.

He wrapped a towel around His waist. He knelt in front of His subjects, washed each and everybody’s dirty, stinky, and callous feet.

That is the God whom we serve. His name is Jesus. He tells us: “You may be right but think about others.”

He did not just wash people’s feet. He served by taking on the cross.

That’s why He says, “You want to follow me? Take up your cross and follow me.”

Jesus is here. He’s in this room. Before He asks you to follow Him, He wants to wash your feet first. After doing so, He asks you to go and do the same.


Some of you may be new to The Feast or maybe not so deep in faith yet.

To you– and even to those who’ve been long in the Community– I apologize to you on behalf of all the spiritual leaders. We’re sorry.

There are times that we may be not good examples to you. We’re sorry. I speak on behalf of all the servants as well. We’re not living a perfect life, but we are aspiring to do so. It’s a daily struggle. For our faults that led you to sin, that we did not give good examples, that we scandalized you, we’re sorry. Please forgive us in the Name of the Lord.

Second, for all of us here who are or would be Christ-followers, trying to become disciples of Jesus, the call of Paul to us today is to think about it, to be considerate of others, to have discretion, to have prudence, to be mindful of others, and to do things with care.

Because that’s how God did it. He may have all the right as the King of the universe, Creator of all things. But what He did was very hard. He did not enrich himself with the wealth of the world. He served us.

We respond today, looking into Christ Jesus:

“Lord here we are. We’re here to serve You. Thank You for reminding us today that it’s not about just me but it’s all about “we.” In the Name of The Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I invite you to respond today to Christ Jesus who went on His knees to wash the disciples’ feet. Humbled Himself as the Master to show us an example of how to lead, and serve, and love others.

This is us, Lord, worshiping You. Your children look to You and all we want is to be like You. Amen.

This story was first published in the Feast Family Online News Magazine

Published by THE FEAST (March 24, 2024)


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