1 Corinthians 8

About food that people offer to idols

1 You asked me a question about food that people have offered to idols. You say, ‘We all know about these things.’ We know that is true. But when you know about something, that can make you proud. Love is better. Love helps people to become strong. 2 Some people may think that they know everything. People like that do not know as much as they ought to know. 3 But if somebody loves God, he is God's friend. God knows that person.

4 So, think about food that people have offered to idols. You ask, ‘Should Christians eat that food?’ We know that no idol is really alive. We also know that there is only one God. 5 It is true that people call many things their gods. Those are things both in heaven and on earth. Those people have many gods and many lords. 6 But for us there is only one God, who is the Father. All things come from him. We live to serve him. For us, there is only one Lord, who is Jesus Christ. All things are there because of him. And we ourselves live because of him.

7 But not everyone understands properly about idols. Before they believed in Christ, some people worshipped idols for many years. So if they eat food that people have offered to an idol, they become afraid. They think that the food belongs to a real god. Their thoughts are weak. They think that they are doing something wrong. 8 But the food that we eat will not help us to please God. If we do not eat certain food, that will not make us worse. If we do eat that food, it will not make us better.

9 You are free to eat any kind of food. You understand that. But other Christians do not understand so well. So, you must be careful. Do not cause them to do something that they think is wrong. 10 You may be eating food in a place where people worship idols. Then another Christian sees you there. You know that the idols are not real gods. But the other Christian may have weak thoughts about this. So, because he sees you, he may think that he can eat that food too. 11 Because you understand properly, you are hurting someone who does not understand so well. In that way, the life of your Christian friend has become completely spoiled. Remember that Christ died to save that friend. 12 If you do that kind of bad thing to hurt your Christian friends, you are hurting Christ himself. You are causing them to do something which they think is wrong. 13 I do not want to hurt any of my Christian friends. So, if the food that I eat causes them to do something wrong, I will never eat meat again.