Do not be a roadblock to a sister or brother in Christ.
Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2 For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3 Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.
5 In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. 6 Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. 7 For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. 8 If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose—to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.
10 So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For the Scriptures say,
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will declare allegiance to God.’”
12 Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. 13 So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
Romans is our guidebook for life with Jesus.
Some of Paul’s instructions are not easy to read but they will make us more like Christ. The process of becoming more like Him is called sanctification and this should be our goal in life. Let’s look at the instructions in Romans 14.
The first one is not to argue with others over inconsequential matters, especially those who are weak in their faith. We need to understand where another person is in their faith and not create a roadblock for them. Paul goes on to give us an example of food. You may know that it’s okay to eat anything while another person will not eat certain foods. We need to be tolerant of others.
When we are tolerant, and not critical, of others, we are actually strengthening their faith.
These verses are very humbling. We each will be accountable to God. No one can do it for you. You and you alone are responsible for your actions. All believers together make up the Body of Christ with Christ being the head. If we want to be strong in the Body, we all need to be strong. Therefore, it is to our benefit as well to strengthen and build up one another in Christ.
These issues that Paul mentions in the Scripture above are neutral things that really do not matter – food and days of the week. Paul knew that if we get caught in the weeds arguing over petty matters such as these then we will not grow as a Body in unity. Therefore, he cautions us against needing to be right. He tells us to be sensitive to others. This is the command that Jesus gave to us as well when He said to love others more than ourselves. When we care about the other person more than ourself, then it’s not important to be right.
What is important is to see Christian growth in a sister or brother.
Paul goes on to say that we should be living for God in all that we do. When we live for God, we will be outwardly focused and not inwardly focused. We need to help one another stand strong. Our main job in this world is to spread the Good News of salvation found only in Jesus Christ. If we get caught up within the Body of believers in petty issues, our attention is diverted from those around us who are non-believers. Those people who God purposely places near us so that we can share the Good News. And this is exactly what the enemy wants. When we’re too busy trying to get our sister or brother in Christ to see our view on an insignificant issue, then we are not doing the work that we’re called to do and souls could be lost.
Outward focus vs. inward focus. Life vs. death. It’s our choice.
Looking more closely at the last three verses above, these words should create fear and trembling within each of us. Every knee will bend and every tongue will confess and give praise to God! Each of us will give a personal account to God. His Word tells us that He not only forgives our sins but He also forgets our sins. So if we have to give a personal account to Him and it is not our sins, then what is it? I believe that we’ll be accounting for how we stewarded His Word and the Great Commission. We will be accountable for the lives we touched (or didn’t touch). This is so incredibly humbling for me to think about. Me. God. I will be before God. Just me and Him. You will be before God. Just you and Him. This verse alone should make us want to make sure that no one stumbles.
So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
These are Paul’s words. Do not become a roadblock.
Stay in the Love and the Light Always,