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YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL

January 20, 2015

Tuesday

 

Romans 14: 1-5

 

As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

 

 

LESSON

 

Paul spoke here to those who, as himself, understood the implications of Christian liberty. The other group, the “weak in faith,” consisted of those whose faith was not strong enough to enable them to exercise the full liberty they had in Christ. The weak in faith have an overly sensitive conscience about doing things that are permissible for a Christian. A sensitive conscience is a good thing, but it can sometimes lead a person to restrict his or her freedom unnecessarily. Paul urged the stronger Christian, who appreciated the extent of his freedom, to accept his weaker brother as an equal. Nevertheless he was not to accept him outwardly, and then condemn him inwardly, much less publicly, for his scruples.

Can we, as Paul urged, learn to be hospitable toward one another despite having differences of opinions about religious practices? Paul’s exhortation is especially relevant when tension exists over spiritual differences that are culturally based. The overall message implores hospitality by those who may occupy a “majority position” toward those in the minority. Patience and tolerance are key considerations.

 

Memory Verse: James 1:26

 

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