Sunday 2 July, 2017
14 Accept the person whose faith is weak. Don’t argue with them where you have differences of opinion. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything. But another person eats only vegetables because their faith is weak. 3 The person who eats everything must not look down on the one who does not. And the one who doesn’t eat everything must not judge the person who does. That’s because God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? Whether they are faithful or not is their own master’s concern. And they will be faithful, because the Lord has the power to make them faithful. 5 One person considers one day to be more holy than another. Another person thinks all days are the same. Each of them should be absolutely sure in their own mind. 6 Whoever thinks that one day is special does so to honor the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to honor the Lord. They give thanks to God. And whoever doesn’t eat meat does so to honor the Lord. They also give thanks to God. 7 We don’t live for ourselves only. And we don’t die for ourselves only. 8 If we live, we live to honor the Lord. If we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 Christ died and came back to life. He did this to become the Lord of both the dead and the living. 10 Now then, who are you to judge your brother or sister? Why do you act like you’re better than they are? We will all stand in God’s courtroom to be judged. 11 It is written, “ ‘You can be sure that I live,’ says the Lord. ‘And you can be just as sure that everyone will kneel down in front of me. Every tongue will have to tell the truth about God.’ ” (Isaiah 45:23) 12 So we will all have to explain to God the things we have done.
In this passage there is an underlying call to unity, for believers to put aside their differences of opinion and agree on Christ. God did not make us robots and so the church is a very diverse group of people. God can handle the differences, He is not uncomfortable with it because He sees our hearts and knows us.
How do I handle differences of opinion? Do I get defensive or argue? Do I withdraw and shutdown? Or do I believe what I believe with conviction, and trust others to God? Do I acknowledge that I do not have a monopoly on wisdom and that positions other than my own may be reasonable and healthy?
God, please help me to manage myself well when differences of opinion arise. Help me to be gracious and to listen first, and speak second. Help me to remember that we are all in progress and right now we see only in part, but one day we will see in full. Amen.
Written by Beth Waugh
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