Avoiding behavior that affects others negatively

Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God….

Romans 14:20-22

Christians live with God under the law of liberty (Romans 8:2), but this does not mean we are free from the law of loving our neighbor (Romans 14:13-15).

The law of loving our neighbor comes with responsibilities. These responsibilities include being aware of how our behavior, even when we think we are right, could negatively affect our brothers and sisters in Christ (1 Corinthians 8:9-13) … or even unbelievers (1 Corinthians 10:23-24; 27-33).

Just because we can does not mean we should. Do responsible parents not teach this to their children? If this lesson should be remembered by earthly children, then how much more should it be laid upon the heart of God’s spiritual children? (Hebrews 12:9)

The aforementioned principle may not come naturally or easily be submitted to, but with the mind of Christ we can come to a point of maturity that recognizes the moments when the pattern that we are creating for others is more important than the “liberty” we are seeking to enjoy for ourselves (Romans 15:2-3, Philippians 2:5; 12-15).