During this Passover season we are extolled to go to our brothers and sisters and be reconciled—addressing sins and grievances with one another (Matthew 5:24). The underlying concept in this passage—along with much of the Bible—is to take an active stance in addressing these concerns. We are to take the attitude, “whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12). We cannot expect to glorify God if we refuse to actively pursue that goal. Simply existing with the knowledge of God—never putting it into practice—rewards us just as the servant who buried his talent.
Paul addressed this concept of active Christianity even deeper when he made the statement, “Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my brother stumble” (1 Corinthians 8:13). He chose to act for, not simply exist with his Christian brethren. Paul was willing to change his life—drastically—so that a weaker brother would not perish. Paul didn’t let his liberty “become a stumbling block to those who are weak” (1 Corinthians 8:9). Instead, he was willing to actively change his life for the benefit of others.
Next week we will be removing leavening from our homes and lives. The simple identification of leavened products in our households does little to remove them from our property. Likewise, if we spend a week merely identifying our spiritual leavening, we have only taken the first step in spiritual change. We must remove what we find and be willing (even to the extent of a lifestyle change like Paul) to alter our way of life. In doing so, we turn the knowledge of God into the glorification of God—which is a Christian requirement. And lest we forget who we really are, Paul succinctly stated, “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:20).