“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord’s help, they will stand and receive his approval.

In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God.” Romans 14:1-6 (NLT)



People were joining the Christian church in Rome as Gentiles and Jews. Their backgrounds were different and informing their experiences. There was dispute about whether or not they should eat meat. It came to the point that the disagreements about the food they should eat and the day to rest were causing division. Paul sought to address this issue with general guidelines. He was more concerned about how they were creating division, criticizing one another, and making life difficult for new believers than what they were eating and what day they picked for the Sabbath. Paul knew that the heart of the matter was more important. He had spent years as a religious leader making sure everyone followed the religious rules but missing God in the process. When he finally came to experience God’s grace and forgiveness, he experienced the freedom that comes when legalism isn’t the order of the day. Paul wanted the church in Rome to experience that same freedom without causing their brother or sister to stumble. His admonishment to do everything to honor the Lord took away the rules and replaced it with a different way by which to live life.


Although centuries have passed since Paul gave these instructions, people within the church still deal with similar issues. God offers salvation, but we want people to follow a set of rules after they prayed a prayer at an altar. Yet, grace allows everyone to walk their own journey with God instead of making them conform to our journey. God never asked us to clean up our lives before we come to him, yet we can want others to conform to a certain image or procedure when they come to know God. God is most concerned about the heart. If it is not an issue of salvation, allowing others to have permission to understand how God works in their own time actually reflects the kindness of God that draws people to repentance. When we do this, we actually gain a freedom ourselves to honor God without the legalism of religion.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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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.

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