Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. – 1 Corinthians 8:9
A follower of Jesus enjoys a wonderful amount of freedom. We are, within the boundaries of God’s commands and with respect to the government that God has established, free to make our own rules for life. We are also forever freed from the bondage of sin, meaning that we have been given the victory over it and now have the privilege to live as God intended.
Problems occur however when we try to make our rules equal to God’s in authority. For when this happens, the “rules” of one will often clash with the “rules” of another. The “strong” (those who understand their freedom in Christ) must learn to bear with the “weak” (those who add to God’s rules), teaching them that humanity’s rules and traditions pass away with time, but the Word of God is eternal. A lack of boundaries make some people nervous, but prohibiting what God has not expressly forbidden is exactly what the Pharisees were accused of and Jesus Himself condemned.
On the other hand, if we exercise a “right” and in doing so offend a brother or sister in Christ, we are not loving and grieve the Holy Spirit. None of us lives unto ourselves. We live for Christ within His Body; therefore, let us always act in a way that pleases the Lord and edifies His church.
He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king. – Augustine