Thoughts for the Day

Friday, 21st January 2022: Sham gods

God the Father Paul 1 Corinthian 8 Pride Corinth Vanity

Reading : Verses from 1 Corinthians, Chapter 8

Corinth Temple

Now concerning food sacrificed to idols ..... (and) the eating of food offered to idols, we know that ‘no idol in the world really exists’, and that ‘there is no God but one.’ Indeed, even though there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth—as in fact there are many gods and many lords — yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.

It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as food offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.....take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak.

(Church in Wales Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Paul reminds the Corinthians that there are no other gods, only God the Father, but they should still not eat food offered to sham gods, for it will confuse those who know no better. What can we make of this today?

Our world is full of people who offer advice from a position of ignorance, and who flaunt their lack of knowledge as certainty. For instance those against covid vaccination, or who dispute that the earth is heating up. They often know little, but their vanity leads them to believe they are more knowledgeable than the experts, and their boasting convinces others who are weaker.

As Christians we know only this: there is One God! It is He who sent us Jesus to bring us back to Himself, and who's Holy Spirit is at work in our world. It is He whom we worship, and He in whom we have pride, rather than in our own limited knowledge. Anything else is vanity.

Of course the other 'elephant in the room' is that of the 'sham gods'. Paul knows they don't exist, but our 'sham gods' are often more difficult to dismiss - 'gods' like money, or self, or drugs, or sex, as well as our mental powers. Be honest, do you have 'sham gods', and might they influence others negatively?


Father God,
may we be honest with ourselves,
and acknowledge when we care more for other things
than we care for You;
and may we acknowledge that our pride and vanity
might influence others negatively.
Forgive us and help us to re-evaluate our life,
putting You at its centre,
and seeking to help those around us.

Follow Up Thoughts

If you would like to learn more about ancient Corinth and its Temples, look up this site:

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