Do you think people today are crazy?!
Okay maybe it’s just me. But it seems so many are going off the deep end, so easily wounded, making mountains out of molehills, expecting everyone around them to walk on eggshells to keep them from being offended or feeling criticized or judged or…Let me get to my topic because I could really get distracted with all this required sensitivity for everyone about everything. I just want to say “grow up”! Get a backbone. Sorrrryyyyy!
Let’s go to Romans 14 before I say something I should not say. By the way, Paul has quite a bit to say about taking offense, giving offense, judging etc in Romans as well as in Ephesians, Acts etc.. Paul’s writings are a very good source for our culture’s crazy all over the place politically correct verbiage. That’s another study. But, seriously are we losing our cotton pickin’ minds?
Romans 14 (NLT)
Here in Romans 14, Paul says we should not get caught up on trying to change one another to agree with our own personal preferences or opinions. Instead he writes here that the stronger in the faith should amend their behaviors so as to not offend the weaker brother. Reading through Verses 1-12 it appears to me that Paul says we are to be respectful of a brother’s or sister’s convictions rather than spend our time and efforts trying to convince them to change.
As I’ve prayed over and read and read again, then studied these few verses, I’m surprised by what I’ve come to understand about who the weaker in the faith and stronger in the faith are according to Brother Paul. You may be as surprised as I. Paul clearly spells it out, but as is often the case when studying a passage in the Bible more deeply, I see it now when I did not before.
Those who have a weaker faith are doing something about a certain food by avoiding it. They believe they are more God-honoring in their behavior by abstaining. Perhaps their faith is not as strong, is not developed to trust in their salvation or have had different experiences with the food they choose to not eat. But they have chosen a different path to walk out their faith. Paul warns all believers to be cautious around those who have made the choice, in this case, to not eat meat. For the sake of this teaching, it could be pig, chicken or steak. The point is in their understanding of what is godly conduct, these folks don’t eat it. Paul says: you in the church, who don’t believe this is an issue, should just leave them alone. Do not try to persuade them by arguing with them to indulge in what will bother their conscience. (Vs 6)
We need to be very cautious with getting caught up in being distracted by commenting, judging, arguing on what the weaker of the faith consider to be bigger issues. These may not be big issues to others who are equally committed to the Lord and the Gospel Truth. For those who live for Christ knowing there is a huge purpose which Jesus gave to the church thinking about what others eat, drink, etc is not worth a giant commotion to set everybody straight and marching on the same pathway of thinking.
We will cover this later but Paul charges us in verse 17 to get our priorities straight: “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17). The heart of Christianity is not making everyone to act, think and feel the same about every single topic or issue. Except for the Gospel and the specific commandments and teaching on what is sin, much of the business of life is personal preference. Does God condemn behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts? Certainly. Murder is not up for debate. It is wrong. It is sin. The same for fornication, adulter, drunkenness, gossip and stirring up trouble. We do not have liberty with the things God hates.
But as love, mercy and grace are the tools of salvation we must employ these liberally.
Making a mountain out of eating meat?
Not a big enough deal to cause division or arguments.
What else? More to come tomorrow.
Who is the stronger in the faith? Are they much different than the weaker?
Caution: These are just my notes from my initial study of Romans 14. Please know that I’m writing these with the sincere humility before God,as my witness, that I do not want to think of myself more highly than I should. I can be in error. God never, never, ever is wrong.
thank you for understanding.
And for being here!