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Paul acknowledges that those with weak faith, as well as those with strong faith, are both important to God. He started the fourteenth chapter of Romans by saying: "Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarrelling over disputable matters. One person's faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them" (Romans 14:1-3 NIV). Let's find out more.

Reference: Romans 14:16-17 New International Version (NIV) "Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit."

From the usage in this Scripture, today's truth is precise and powerful in the sense that it liberates us from the feeling of anyone's disapproval of our conviction based on our personal encounter and relationship with God and at the same time, it instructs our understanding to be tolerant of other Christians who haven't reached, or rather who don't share the same level of understanding with us concerning the Christian faith.

Paul says, "...Do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil." Did you grasp that? He is talking about our various faith levels and the personal conviction we have with God. For instance, if a Christian regards something more important than another Christian does, then for the latter, it is less-important. By judging them for what they don't level up with you, you might be condemning or attacking their confidence in God, which is absolutely wrong because Christ died for them.

So Paul's teaching here is focused on the truth that every Christian should be considerate of how they treat those who appear to "believe less" of the truth they "believe more" about in their faith walk, bearing in mind that we've not been given the excessive freedom to judge, but rather to be accommodating and to walk in harmony, accepting fellow Christians, regardless of their spiritual views and level of understanding in faith.

Let's assume that a group of Christians considers the attitude of women tying headscarves or headwrap, as well as wearing hats in their church meetings - as a serious matter or as more sacred than other group of Christians who do not, the former must not judge the latter as "less" serious Christians. In other words, the Christian lady who covers her hair in her church gathering must never judge or consider every other Christian lady who doesn't do the same as unholy or "not qualified" to go to heaven. Each group of Christians should be fully convinced in their own minds that God is the Lord of all and He accepts all with their differences in specific beliefs and in outward attire.

In the same manner, Paul explained that any Christian who regards one day as special does so to the Lord. So is another person who esteems every day alike. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God (Romans 14:5-6 NKJV). This is because God accepts their spiritual understanding according to their faith and conviction.

Therefore let us stop passing baseless judgment on one another, thereby promoting unnecessary discrimination. Instead, we must make up our minds not to impose our personal level of conviction in view of the gospel on others at lesser or higher level of faith because in spite of our growth levels, we are all standing by God's grace (Romans 5:2 NKJV). This also includes our relationships with other Christians, in terms of living out our faith.

Many a time, some Christians judge by what they think or understand to be true regarding other Christians and so they keep acting on unsound assumptions, defective conclusions and wrongly-based perceptions, thereby putting needless stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. Apostle Paul therefore addressed this point in Romans 14:12-14 (NIV). Stay tuned for part two of this topic. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Matthew 7:1-2; Luke 6:37; Romans 2:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:7; Romans 14:10.

Guided Prayer: Precious Father, you are the God of truth, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. You are the righteous, eternal, and all-Mighty and your perspective is bigger, smarter, and more powerful than all human and worldly views put together. According to your knowledge, my heart is set on growing in grace with fellow Christians regardless of different levels of spiritual understanding and maturity. I live by the Word daily, and I promote the spiritual life of other Christians as I carry on faithfully with the glorious works of the Kingdom, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of your dear Son and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ in Jesus' Name, Amen!


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