Romans 14 helps you find your way between being overly critical and overly tolerant.
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Romans 14 Summary
As a reminder, this letter to the Romans was written to a church comprised of two totally different types of people: Jews and Greeks, and each group had plenty of cultural baggage they thought was superior to the other's.
The Jews clung to Mosaic dietary laws and observed religious holidays, while the Greeks ate what they pleased whenever they pleased.
As members of the Church, our goal should not be to make everybody just like we are in every way, but rather to build up our fellow members in Christ. Instead of fighting battles over issues that have little overall importance, we must
pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding (v19).
There are two primary dangers we must navigate around in the church, which are at the opposite ends of the spectrum:
Being overly critical of how fellow Christians express their love for God;
Tolerating any and all behavior and ideas Christians have in their lives and worship.
It's important to note that Romans 14 only deals with the first of these two dangers. Although many try to claim it as such, this chapter does not endorse a live and let live attitude in the church in which everybody does what they think is right.
As you navigate the hyper-politicized environment we live in, keep two key teachings from this chapter in mind:
Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind (v5).
You have lots of opinions that you feel are right and that everyone else should agree with, but have you done the hard work of fully convincing yourself (both logically and theologically)?
Secondly, always remember
each of us will give an account of himself to God (v12).
It means very little what other people think of the way you live. Before trying to convince others that your opinions are superior, make sure your thoughts, actions and opinions hold water with God, knowing that's it's His judgment that matters.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: The sovereign, holy God to which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess (v11)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God for the strength you need to make every effort to do what leads to peace and to building one another up (v19)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: