We’re continuing our study through the book of Romans. In this section, he’s dealing with the way believers who think differently should relate to each other.
We like to think that our opinion is right about questionable issues. That’s especially true if we grew up in a church where we heard the same thing preached for our whole life. We get pretty ingrained in our ways.
Paul makes it clear in Romans that it’s more about love, and less about what I think is right. Here’s the verses that we looked at over the last couple of posts. It’s a good review.
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.
We need to be careful to look out for each other. We can’t trample others down with our opinions. As a matter of fact, Paul makes a bold statement. We really need to take it to heart in this generation. Especially when it comes to what we say on social media.
So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.
Wow! If ever anybody needed to hear this, it’s us. The way a lot of believers act on social media is an embarrassment to the body of Christ.
Remember, Paul is speaking here about those gray areas of life. Yes, I know that you think that your way is the best, but love has to be the bottom line.
Do you believe something? That’s wonderful. But in a spiritual setting, keep your politics to yourself. That is, unless you were asked about it.
There are some real “hot button” issues out there today. I know it.
“You should wear a mask.” “You shouldn’t wear a mask.”
“You should get a vaccine.” “Don’t get a vaccine.”
I have seen these issues turn into belligerent shouting matches between Christians. We resort to belittling and name-calling. All for what? Because we think we’re right.
Remember, I’m not saying this, the Apostle Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, did. “Whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”
It’s time for us to stop attacking each other and focus on the work of the kingdom. Stop preaching your brand of politics, and start preaching Jesus.
Paul literally says, don’t allow yourself to be condemned by what you approve. This is condemnation from an outside source. The world is watching us and thinks that there’s no change when you come to Christ. We act just like them.
But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.
Here’s the other side of the coin. Don’t put yourself in a position to be condemned. If you don’t feel you should be doing something, and you do it because you saw someone else do it, for you it’s sin. This person is condemned because of a lack of faith.
Paul is telling us that everything that does not originate from our faith, misses the mark. Paul concludes this with the following statement.
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.”
Simply put, it’s not about pleasing ourselves. It’s about edifying, building up, the body of Christ. This verse tells us that Christ took all of our insults. How much worse is it, if I ridicule a brother in Christ and Christ has to bear it?
Question: How should a believer act when they’re online?
© 2021 Nick Zaccardi