“One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. 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.” (Romans 14:2-3)
This is not a verse that is talking about black and white right versus wrong. Paul covered that earlier in the book (remember? I referenced it here.)
This is a verse talking about personal differences in opinion over things that are not clearly black and white in the Scriptures. Like…wearing masks versus not wearing masks during a pandemic, a very hotly debated topic in church and out of it. This is such a good current example, because I’ve heard a lot of judgement being thrown around in both directions.
People shaming mask wearers for “giving in to fear” or “giving in to overt government control”.
People shaming non-mask wearers, saying they don’t care about people dying, and are therefore basically murderers.
Okay, ya’ll. Wherever you stand on this, here are your instructions: “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind…The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.” (vs. 5-6)
Research it, make sure what you’re doing and how you’re doing it truly honors the Lord, then stand firm in your convictions. Ask loving questions if you’re curious, and engage in kind discussion, but don’t “quarrel over opinions” (vs.14) and ultimately respect the brother or sister who somehow managed to come to a complete opposite conclusion.
“…why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God…so then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:10, 12)
(And, of course, masks make a good contemporary illustration here, but I’m sure you’ll have no problem inserting other scenarios!)
P.S. See this original post for info about this photo challenge and more about this reading plan I’m using this summer for the book of Romans (and I’d love to have you join in!)!
About the photo: Don’t these yellow goat’s beard seed heads just remind you of 4th of July fireworks along the fields and ditches right now?!