Romans 14:1-3 & 13
Welcome someone who is weak in faith, but not in order to have disputes on difficult points. One person believes it is alright to eat anything, while the other person eats only vegetables.
The one who eats should not despise the one who does not, and the one who does not should not condemn the one who does—because God has welcomed them.
Do not, then, pass judgment on another any longer. If you want to exercise your judgment, do so on this question: how to avoid placing obstacles or stumbling blocks in front of a fellow family member.
Disputing with our brothers and sisters in Christ on difficult points, ones on par with if we should be vegetarians, or whether some days like Good Friday are holier than others (vv.5-6), serves only as distraction from focusing on God.
We are all in different places on our spiritual journey toward God, not ahead or behind mind you, just different. Who am I to “should” all over you with my personal ways of connecting with Christ. I can share them, but shame on me if I look down on you for not abiding by “my rules“.
I have definitely done this—despised others for not following like I do. How abhorrent! How often I’ve been given a spiritual insight at just the right time in my journey, then try to force it upon others before even inquiring where they are.
This chapter convicts me. Who am I to say how someone should connect to Christ? Sure, we can offer suggestions to help lead someone closer to God, especially if they ask, but may we never condemn someone for seeking God in a manner we perhaps would not do so ourselves or even in a way we don’t like.
If someone reads the King James version of the Bible only, what is that to me? They are seeking God, praise the Lord!
I’d like to reset my default system to using my impulse to judge someone’s personal convictions as a trigger to examine myself to see if I am placing any obstacles in another believer’s path to connecting with Christ.
That is the kind of judgment that is not only ok, but encouraged in Scripture.
So judge away!
For God’s kingdom, you see, isn’t about food and drink, but about justice, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.