No Questions Asked

“If any of those who do not believe invites you to dinner, and you desire to go, eat whatever is set before you, asking no question for conscience sake” (1 Corinthians 10:27).
In my experience one of the greatest concerns for those traveling for the first time outside their area of experience is the food that will be available to eat in the place of destination. We are aware that different people and cultures have widely varied dietary habits, and we are not always sure whether we will find the food of others to be appetizing or even healthy. Some like their food highly spiced, others like exotic meats or other things not customarily eaten by the travelers.
Campaigners in certain South American countries identify the menu as “curried mystery meat,” and practice the advice of Paul quoted above — “Don’t ask ?- you may not want to know what it is.” In other places that is not normally a problem, but the menu is still greatly different from what people usually eat in Alabama. For instance in Bangladesh it is usually much spicier, with a lot more rice. No problem, I like it.
But it is not really that important that I like it. If I did not, and continued to serve the Lord by coming to such places, I would need to eat it anyway. Paul himself “became all things to all men, that [he] might by all means save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). Food is only one area where that principle applies. And evangelism is similarly only one type of service in which we must adapt. Every Christian must learn that his own preferences and “comfort zone” will often be abandoned if he is serious in serving the Lord.
Nowhere in Scripture do we read that we may do only those things we like to do. Nowhere are we invited to tell God how he can use us. Always and invariably we read that it is God who gives gifts, God who opens doors, and God who holds us accountable for our resources.
In Corinth some Christians may well have been limiting their evangelistic opportunities by refusing to visit in homes where the wrong food might be served. Paul taught that such limitations are neither necessary nor desirable. We must be willing to expand our capabilities in areas of custom and expedience that the Lord’s work may be accomplished.

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Michael Brooks

Since 1988 Mike and his wife Brenda have been involved in foreign missions in South America, Africa, and South Asia. Beginning in 1999 they devoted full time to missions, primarily in Bangladesh and Nepal.

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