So stop judging each other. Instead, this is what you should decide: never put a stumbling block or obstacle in the way of your brother or sister. I know and I’m convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is wrong to eat in itself. But if someone thinks something is wrong to eat, it becomes wrong for that person. If your brother or sister is upset by your food, you are no longer walking in love. Don’t let your food destroy someone for whom Christ died. And don’t let something you consider to be good be criticized as wrong. God’s kingdom isn’t about eating food and drinking but about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever serves Christ this way pleases God and gets human approval. So let’s strive for the things that bring peace and the things that build each other up.
Food For Thought:
Paul’s specific advice regarding the foods we choose to eat reminds us of our daily, routine responsibility to our neighbors. Our standard of living should be Christ-like, selfless love. Our decision-making criteria should always involve how things will affect others. If something is harmless to us, yet potentially devastating to another, then it is not harmless. God’s kingdom is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That should be the aim for us AND for our neighbors. What habits might we give up today for the sake of a family member, friend or neighbor? What might we begin to say “no” to in order to protect the peace of those in our midst?
If I have wounded any soul today; If I have caused one foot to go astray; If I have walked in my own willful way; Dear Lord, forgive! If I have uttered idle words or vain; If I have turned aside from want or pain; Lest I myself shall suffer through the strain; Dear Lord, forgive! If I have been perverse or hard, or cold; If I have longed for shelter in Thy fold; When Thou hast given me some fort to hold; Dear Lord, forgive! Forgive the sins I have confessed to Thee; Forgive the secret sins I do not see; O guide me, love me and my keeper be; Dear Lord, Amen. (An Evening Prayer by C. Maude Battersby)