February 25, 2021 – Thursday
Romans 14:1-4 ESV
1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.
3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.
4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
All too often individuals will claim to know what others are thinking as if they are bona-fide mind readers. Of course, they are not, but their own sense of self-righteousness leads them to believe they know something they cannot know. Matthw Henry says about this, We usurp the place of God, when we take upon us thus to judge the thoughts and intentions of others, which are out of our view. Then later adds, We are all apt to make our own views the standard of truth, to deem things certain which to others appear doubtful. Daivd Guzik states, There is a lot of useless, harmful division among Christians over silly, bigoted things. Paul isn’t telling these Christians to erase their differences; he tells them to rise above them as Christian brothers and sisters.
Most of us know someone who has lost weight and then told everyone else the method they used is the best thing since sliced bread and everyone should use this method. Some of us may have been guilty of this as well whether it had to do with weight loss or something else. I know I have. What Paul is writing about is obviously more important than weight loss or even one’s eating practices. He is writing about how all too often Christians end up despising or condemning another concerning a matter or matters of no importance.
This brings to mind what Jesus had to say about this when He stated (Matthew 7:3-4), Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? In other words, we are to look at our own lives, our own choices especially when the choices have nothing to do with salvation.
Retuning now to the first verse for today, As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. We all have opinions, and we must learn to differentiate between opinions and facts. While I have many opinions based on plenty of facts, they remain opinions and I must continually learn to recognize they are indeed opinions. Nonetheless, we must never permit opinions or conscience to be used as an excuse to permit for what is clearly behavior that is sinful. Thus, while we must be tolerant of differences of opinion, that does not extend to sinful actions.
Prayer: Heavenly Father – Help me to walk closer to Your will and to seek Your will instead of seeking to walk in my own will and my own opinions. – In Jesus name. Amen.