Vive La Difference
Lord of the Church, I thank You for Your gift of other Christians and all that they give to me.
Read ROMANS 14:1-12
 Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters.  One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables.  The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.  Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.  One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.  He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.  For none of us lives to himself alone and none of us dies to himself alone.  If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.  For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.  You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.  It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.'”  So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat would you say is the main rule or principle here?
If you’ve ever spent time in a conference where controversial issues are being discussed you know it’s true: in any given group of people there are sure to be smaller clusters of folk who just can’t understand each other.
Hank hails from Dallas, Texas; Harry, from Glasgow, Scotland. Hank and Harry may read the same Bible, attend churches of the same denomination and sing the same hymns every Sunday. But Hank will never understand why Harry keeps beer in his home, and Harry will never understand why Hank keeps a gun in his. We all know you don’t have to cross the ocean to find honest differences and disagreements among Christians. Two churches may sit side by side on the same street. They say they talk to the same God, yet they rarely speak to each other.
Difference is OK. In fact, it would be wrong to expect anything else of God’s big family, which is created enormously diverse. But judgmental behavior is not OK. It’s not fitting for us to be judgmental toward one another when God has been so accepting of us.
Do you act judgmentally toward others? If so, confess it, and resolve to repair any damage in your relationships.
Lord, keep me free from a judgmental spirit. I want to love and accept others the way that pleases You.
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