1Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. 2For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. 3Those 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. 4Who 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.Romans 14:1-4
As I continue to read Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, I pause at these words of admonition. Arguing about what type of food one eats may not feel relevant, but there are so many issues, like this one, that could easily be substituted here for food. Think masks, political party, social distance…our society is a hot bed of volatile issues.
I am continually brought back to my responsibility to love deeply regardless of my differences with others. Years ago someone told me that the condition in our society is a reflection of the church. As the church goes so goes our communities. I don’t want that to be true, but I am wondering if it isn’t spot on! If we can’t love and respect those we call brothers and sisters, how can we expect our communities to live in harmony?
I want to be more concerned with approval from my Master than with being “right” with my fellow servants. He is the one who declares me righteous. We don’t all see life the same, we don’t all eat the same food, we don’t all walk out our faith in the same way. But we all have one Master and it is before him that we stand or fall.
Is there a hill on which you have taken a stand? Are you sure the issue is worth the fight? How can you love others more deeply and disagree at the same time?