MAKING TRUTH UGLY
Mighty God, your presence, purposes, and power are always with me. I praise you for your blessings to me.
Read Romans 14:10–18
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
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ReflectAsk the Spirit to show you whether there’s anything – a moral issue, worship style, or your own position – more important to you than the abundance promised in Romans 14:17, 18
Paul emphasizes, in verse 14, that no food is unclean (see also Mark 7:14,15). Here he rules clearly with the strong. However, even though one side is right, attitudes on both sides are wrong. The weak must stop judging the strong, and the strong must stop treating them with contempt, for both will face God’s judgment (vs 10–12). Those changed attitudes must be expressed in ensuring that their actions do not harm their brothers or sisters in any way (v 13b).
But that isn’t the end of the matter. If someone regards something as unclean and is choosing not to eat it out of reverence for the Lord (vs 5b,6), then that must be respected (v 14b). Eating something that grieves your brother or sister in a shared meal is making the truth ugly. That’s so unloving that it risks driving the weak away from Christ (v 16).
Enjoying being right over something of no significance when it comes to saving faith risks losing out on really critical kingdom matters: enjoying the Spirit’s presence bringing righteousness, peace and joy into their midst as they gather (vs 17,18). Isn’t sacrificing the right to eat meat at church surely worth it if it means that together they can enjoy the Spirit’s abundance?
Lay down anything the Lord revealed to you that stops you knowing more of his abundance.
Gracious Father, reveal to me any attitude I have toward fellow believers that is not honoring to you. Enable me to have a change of heart.