August 22

Romans 14:13, 17, 19 13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

17For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

19Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

If the body of Christ could learn this lesson, what a difference it would make! How many have turned away because someone argued over some insignificant conviction? There are any number of things that are not clearly forbidden to us in Scripture. Some folks believe one way and everyone one else has a different idea. The Apostle is telling us not to argue about it. The Kingdom of God is not about whether you drink a glass of wine, or eat steak, or worship on Saturday. Those things are up to your personal conviction determined by your understanding of God and His Word.

A mature Christian can set aside His personal convictions about things that are nonessential so that he or she does not cause a weaker Christian to stumble. If happen to be among those who worship on Saturday, I will worship with them on Saturday. If I am among vegetarians, I will forego my right to eat meat. If I am with those who believe alcohol consumption is evil, I will certainly not drink alcohol. I will share with them righteousness, peace, and joy in the Lord.

If we insist on our freedoms, we may damage our weaker brother or sister. If we argue over insignificant matters, they may be encouraged to do something they do not have faith to do. Let the Holy Spirit convince them if it is necessary. Can't we trust the Teacher to do His work in their lives? Our insistence on others seeing our perspective is often no more than pride. Do and say what leads to peace and mutual edification.

Remember: Share the many things you have in common so that you will both be encouraged in the Lord.