21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine
It would be better for the mature Christian to not make an issue out of eating meat or drinking wine if development of the immature believer to maturity is at stake. The mature are to exercise self-restricting liberty for the sake of immature Christians. There is nothing wrong with eating meat or drinking wine as such. It is wrong only when doing so would offend a weaker brother.
nor do anything by which your brother stumbles
An immature believer can stumble over the actions of the mature if they cause the immature to do something against his conscience. The onus lies on the mature to help the immature in this case.
or is offended
The mature believer can affront the immature person’s prejudice by using his liberty without judgment.
or is made weak.
The idea of “weak” here is to be weak spiritually or immature in the Christian faith. It is possible to retrogress from a level of maturity to a stage of immaturity.
There are times when the mature believer should relinquish his rights for the sake of the weaker Christian.
It is not proper for the mature to weaken immature Christians with their freedom. Mature Christians have more room to maneuver than the weak.
The mature believer who takes the higher course by thinking of his fellow Christian first is an honorable person in God’s eyes. Latitude and forbearance are characteristics of someone who is mature. A person who has received grace gives grace to others. This is the opposite of treating them with contempt.