Bible Reading Day 228
Day 228: August 16 (Romans 14)
Today Paul follows his exhortation to love one another with some practical instruction in an area which caused a great deal of strife in that time: who could eat which foods, and why not!
His wisdom could be applied to other areas that commonly divide believers today.
The foundational principle is to accept those who differ from us and not argue with them. If they agree that Jesus is Lord and Savior, everything else is optional or a matter for each person’s conscience. Whether they eat pulled pork and chitterlings, or won’t eat anything other than raw vegetables, is irrelevant to the gospel!
Paul underscores that it is wrong for anyone to look down on another. Not agreeing with someone’s beliefs is not an excuse for judging or belittling them. How sad that Christians have ignored this instruction for centuries, and fought to division on many unimportant issues!
We would do well to heed the wisdom in verses 17-19: “For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.”
Aim for harmony and try to build each other up. What a difference it would make if each of us did this, rather than focusing on proving ourselves right in areas of difference! God’s desire is for us to avoid any cause for stumbling in those who share our faith.
And alongside this desire, God tells us to act according to our conscience in all things; it is better to NOT do something we are hesitant about than to sin by being led by others rather than by God.
How can you unite those two instructions today? Act with confidence in God’s instructions to you, and avoid causing others to stumble.
Have a great day!