31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble,whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.—1 Cor. 10:31-33 NIV
Every word that we say and every action we take has an effect on everyone in our circle of influence, whether that circle is small or large is not the question. Every thing we do and/or say should be seasoned with love, kindness and mercy. Otherwise, how can our words and actions glorify God? If we exhibit the fruit of the Spirit, we will not be a stumbling block to those around us. Notice that Paul says he “tries” to please everyone in every way. We are not to violate our conscience simply to please someone, that would be a sin for us and a stumbling block for them. We are not to seek glory or earthly rewards for ourselves. Instead, we live a lifestyle that glorifies God and builds up our rewards in heaven. But when there is a conflict of conscience, every choice we make must please God and not man.
3 For our appeal does not spring from error or impurity or any attempt to deceive, 4 but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts. 5 For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. 6 Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others,–1 Thess. 2:3-6a ESV
7 However not all men have this knowledge; but some, being accustomed to the idol until now, eat food as if it were sacrificed to an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. 8 But food will not commend us to God; we are neither the worse if we do not eat, nor the better if we do eat. 9 But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone sees you, who have knowledge, dining in an idol’s temple, will not his conscience, if he is weak, be strengthened to eat things sacrificed to idols? 11 For through your knowledge he who is weak is ruined, the brother for whose sake Christ died. 12 And so, by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ.13 Therefore, if food causes my brother to stumble, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause my brother to stumble.—1 Cor. 8:7-13 NASB
Paul continues his narrative on whether or not we, as Christians, are free to eat meat sacrificed to idols. The point he is making is that when we exercise our liberty in Christ Jesus, we need to be sure that others are not offended or misled by watching us. Though we have the knowledge that we have liberty because Jesus Christ died to set us free from the law and from sin, others do not have that knowledge. They are accustomed to not eating meat sacrificed to idols because that is what the law has taught them. Just as some of the disciples still taught that you had to be circumcised because they did not yet have the understanding of their freedom in Christ. We, being the stronger, should then give up our freedom to do certain things. Not because the action itself is a sin, but because it causes our brother or sister to stumble and we have sinned against them. Any sin against anyone is a sin against Christ. So we should use our knowledge, spoken in love, to edify our brothers and sisters and not to harm them.