by Stan Mitchell
When I was a kid, a neighbor had a large trampoline in his back yard. What fun we had in the long summer days on that canvas!
We took off our shoes, and bounced, all eight or nine of the neighborhood kids, screaming with delight. I remember one ploy in particular. Three of us would try to bounce, all together on one side of the trampoline, and watch as some unsuspecting (and light-weight) kid on the other side shot high into the air, like popcorn in a popcorn popper. The look of surprise on his face was enough to send us into gales of laughter.
Life in a Christian family is like that, too. Everything I do has an effect on others. Unwise decisions, unethical business dealings and sharp, unkind words affect the whole church.
This is Paul’s point in I Corinthians 6-9. Listen to what he says about the fact that the church is an organism, and that our every action affects the rest of the organism.
“‘All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful” (1 Corinthians 6:12, ESV).
“But take care that this right of yours does not does not somehow becoming a stumbling block to the weak” (1 Corinthians 8:9).
“Though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them” (1 Corinthians 9:19).
Christians are not rugged individualists. The church is an organism, where every action and every word affects others, where a little consideration uplifts the church as a whole.
Or, to put it another way, when you bounce hard on the trampoline, someone else will shoot up like popcorn in a popcorn popper. Try to ensure that they land softly, and safely.