STUMBLING BLOCKS

Scripture Reading: Romans 14:13-23

“It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.” (Romans 14:21)

We become stumbling blocks when we flaunt something before others that is a matter of personal conviction to them. In Paul’s day eating meat that had been offered as a sacrifice to pagan gods was a key issue to some. Some had strong convictions that they should not eat meat that had been used in pagan worship, while others did not hold that same conviction.

Paul wrote — “I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean” (v. 14). He goes on to say that the loving thing to do is to avoid eating the meat in their presence — “For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died” v. 15).

We must develop sensitivity to others who hold convictions we do not hold. Paul’s counsel to us is — “Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. It is good not to eat meat or drink wine of do anything that causes your brother to stumble” (vs. 20,21). Let’s be thoughtful of others and respect their convictions even if we do not hold them ourselves.

Lord Jesus, let me act in a loving way toward others today. Do not let me become a stumbling block for anyone. Instead let me humble myself before others by thinking more highly of them than I think of myself. Lord Jesus, live out Your life in me this day.

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