In Galatians 5:23, Paul lists one of the fruits of the Spirit as self control, in 1 Corinthians 9:27, he talks about the measures he took to subject his own body and bring it under control so that he would not be “disqualified for the prize.” Paul knew that through Christ, he had the freedom to do many things, but he also knew that if he did those things he could harm someone else’s walk with Christ so he trained himself out of love for others. Last week we talked about not being a stumbling block for others and part of not being a stumbling block is, through self control, not doing a thing that you believe, through Christ, you can do.
Romans 14:15, If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. Paul is saying that if you flaunt the freedoms you have in Christ, you are abusing that freedom. Our rights through Christ are less important than our responsibilities to Christ.
We live in a world that tells us “me first,” “my rights,” “it’s all about me,” but Paul says no. For the Christian, it’s all about God. Freedom says that we can do a thing or say a thing, but love asks is it going to harm a fellow Christian.