As the chairman of my street, I led our executives to visit the chairman, board of trustees. And then after the meeting we were served food and wine. “Chairman, would you take alcoholic wine?” I said no, I would take 0%, not the 8%. Then the following day, I went to supermarket to buy bottled groundnut, but the groundnut was put inside an alcoholic bottle with its label. Many groundnut suppliers here look for empty wine bottles to bottle their groundnuts. Then I told the owner of the supermarket, “If I’m going to buy this bottle of groundnut, you will need to peel off the alcoholic label on it.” I further told her that I would not want a situation where I finish the groundnut and the empty bottle with the label of alcoholic wine stays in the waste bin in front of my house, and so if people spot it in front of my house, they would say, “So this oga dey drink this kind wine?” Then the supermarket owner said something like, “Who cares about what people say? Would they have the mind to come and ask you or challenge you?” Then I told her that as children of God, we must have a pure conscience before God and men.

It is not about “God knows” Yes, God knows I am not the one who consumed the alcoholic wine of the bottle, but Christian living is more than “God knows” men must also know. The Bible says, “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” Acts 24:16.

We must strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and also toward men; in our dressing as Christian women, yes you don’t have a bad or unclean motive for wearing what you wear, in fact, you are a happily married woman, a responsible and godly woman for that matter? But you need to know that your dressing must not cause offense to men out there. Because even if God knows you don’t have a wrong motive for what you are doing, but if it causes offense or cause of sin to others, God will hold you as an offender.

As we care about how God will feel, we must care about how it will feel on our fellow human beings. We must have a conscience void of offense toward God and men. We must not be the reason why people will mock or doubt our Christian faith.

Our right action, if care is not taken, can lead others to wrong action. Your dressing, if care is not taken, can lead men to lustful sin. You’re visiting the opposite sex, even though you don’t have an immoral motive, even though God knows, yet, it can lead others to the wrong path of immorality.

Yes, we have the knowledge of God, and God knows that we don’t have wrong intentions, but then we must consider others with our knowledge and live with a conscience void of offense.

Here is what the Bible says, “But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak. For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those things offered to idols? And because of your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble.” 1 Corinthians 8:9-13

God bless you

Gideon Akande

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