“Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.

For instance, a person who has been around for a while might well be convinced that he can eat anything on the table, while another, with a different background, might assume he should only be a vegetarian and eat accordingly. But since both are guests at Christ’s table, wouldn’t it be terribly rude if they fell to criticizing what the other ate or didn’t eat? God, after all, invited them both to the table. Do you have any business crossing people off the guest list or interfering with God’s welcome? If there are corrections to be made or manners to be learned, God can handle that without your help.” Romans 14:1-4 (MSG)


Paul was writing to the church in Rome regarding embracing the new believers. There were disagreements about what foods were considered unclean. While the people were so focused on keeping the rules, they were ostracizing the very people who needed them in their new faith. Paul was not insinuating that there weren’t any rules. However, this issue wasn’t worth the people that were being hurt. It wasn’t an issue of faith. Paul understood how God is the one who brings greater revelation as people walk with Him. While the church was trying to keep appearances, Paul was more preoccupied with keeping the people.

At first glance, this issue that Paul was addressing might seem outdated and irrelevant. Yet, we see a very similar core issue in different groups of believers endorsing different lifestyle choices. We can become so distracted by making sure everyone is following our rules that we miss the very standards that God has already given. We want people to only eat at specific restaurants, wear specific attire, etc. Then, when new people come to know God, they can be turned away by the discord among Christians about basic issues. The point is to focus on the main issues of faith in Jesus. If we do that, we won’t have time to worry about the petty things that have very little to do with faith in Jesus. It seems like that was the point Paul was trying to make all along.

Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002.  Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. 

[separator_small separator_width=” thickness=” up=” down=”]


About Hona Amer

I help people live life to the fullest. Check out my book, Smart Work U. Follow me on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. In order to receive updates, subscribe below.

[separator_small separator_width=” thickness=” up=” down=”]