Scripture Reading: Romans 14:1-9

“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.” (Romans 14:4)

Paul is dealing with the matter of personal convictions. Some people have strong convictions about certain practices. In Paul’s day one such conviction had to do with eating meat that had been offered as sacrifices to idols. Some believers had no problem eating the meat, while others had strong convictions about not eating it (vs. 2,3).

We must distinguish between personal convictions and God’s absolute truth. The Bible teaches absolute truth. Thus, we are obligated to be obedient to that truth. The clear teaching of Scripture is non-negotiable.

Personal convictions are areas where Scripture is not definitive, but one may have strong feelings about certain things or practices. We must not attempt to force our personal convictions on others. If the Scripture is not clear on an issue, we must not be dogmatic about it.

We are not to quarrel over opinions (v. 1) and we are not to judge one another — “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?” We ultimately answer to God. God knows the motives of our hearts.

The real danger is when we make our personal convictions normative for others. This is a form of legalism. Both parties should respect the differences and not become judgmental of one another.

Lord God, thank You for the truth You have revealed in Scripture. Let me never compromise that truth. Give me patience with others who hold convictions that I do not hold. Let me respect their position and not be judgmental.


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