Accordingly, dearly beloved, let us do everything for the purpose of giving glory to our Lord, and let us not be an occasion of scandal to anybody. This after all, is the unfailing lesson given us by the whole world’s teacher, blessed Paul, as for example when he says, “If food is a source of scandal to my brother, let me never till the end of time touch meat again;” and again, “By sinning against your brothers in this way through bruising your tender conscience, you sin against Christ.” A stern admonition that, entailing a heavy condemnation. In other words, he is saying, don’t think the harm will be inflicted solely on one person: it passes on to Christ himself, who for that person was crucified. So if the Lord was not swayed from being crucified for him, would you not make every effort to avoid giving him any occasion for scandal? You will find Paul giving this advice everywhere to his disciples; it is, after all, the factor that keeps our life together. Hence he uses these words in writing in another letter: “Let each of you consider not your own concerns but the concerns of others;” and again in another place: “Everything is lawful for me, but not everything edifies others.” Do you see the apostolic attitude? Even repercussion for myself on that account, yet to avoid interfering with my neighbor’s spiritual progress I would not presume to behave like that. Do you see the soul full of loving concern- how he has no eye at all for his own interests, but shows us in every way that the greatest virtue consists in taking great care for our neighbor’s spiritual progress.
Taken from the Book: Daily Reading from the Writings of St. John Chyrsostom