Week 5: Roman's 12-16
We are on our final week of reading through John and Romans together. I wanted for us to immerse ourselves in John/Romans because they will give us a solid foundation to help us have a strong and growing faith in Jesus. What stood out to you?
Romans 14:10-13 grabbed my attention. 10 But you, why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall give praise to God.” 12 So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this - not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.
As a Pastor for forty years, I have seen way too much of believers judging other believers or even showing contempt over differences concerning secondary matters, private convictions and personal opinions. Paul tells the believers in Rome not to judge one another over these types of things.
A Preacher/Pastor from 250 A.D said this “In essentials unity In nonessentials liberty and in all things Charity." When we pass judgement on someone it leads to contempt. In other words, it first effects the way we see someone which then affects how we treat them. It puts walls and distance between us and our fellow believers. It leads to the Church being divided instead of unified. It hurts the Church’s reputation in the eyes of the very people we are trying to get to come to Church.
I had a revelation many years ago that turned out to not be a revelation to those who knew me. I’m not always right! I know it’s hard for me to believe also. I did an experiment about twenty-five years ago. I gave two other ministers in my own denomination all my age a list of questions asking what do you believe about this? I also answered the questions. They were not questions about doctrine rather questions about what should and what should not a believer do in these areas? Guess what? None of us agreed with each other yet I knew that each one of us loved Jesus with all our hearts. Churches and Pastors faced one of these dilemmas this last Christmas. Christmas fell on a Sunday this year. Do we still have services or do we let the people stay home and spend time with their families? People had really strong opinions on both sides but is that issue really important enough to divide over, be mad over or look down at others over?
We desperately need the Church to be as strong and unified as possible in the difficult days we find ourselves in. So let's ask ourselves this question - Am I judging another believer or someone within the Church about their personal opinions or convictions? Am I rejecting someone because they don’t agree with me exactly? If the answer is yes, let’s do what Paul said - accept one another and stop passing judgement.
Prayer for the week: Lord give us wisdom to know the difference between things that really do matter and those that do not. Help us to accept and love one another.