As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. 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 14:1-4
Today’s verses are one’s that is helps to know the cultural context otherwise we may have the opinion that people week in the faith eat vegetables. When Paul was writing to the believers in Rome and other cities outside of Jerusalem a lot if not most of the meat sold was originally used in sacrifices to local gods. Many times new believers would refuse to eat this meat as a way of moving from pagan beliefs to Christianity. They were trying to differentiate themselves from the old pagan ways of eating meat sacrificed to gods. Some more mature believers realizing that all God made was clean were judging the new believers for what they ate.
Unfortunately we have not changed much in the nearly two thousand years since. We are too eager to pass judgment on others. Not just unbelievers but also fellow believers. You may be able to have a glass of wine with dinner and be able to limit your drinking. Another may fall back into old habits with one sip of alcohol. We need to be aware of our fellow believer’s weaknesses so as not to tempt them. Just as we hope others will be aware of ours. Each of us has areas in our lives where we struggle. One may be able to see an “R” rated movie with strong sexual content and not be bothered. Another may watch the same movie and be tempted to go back to viewing pornography. We need to make sure our actions do not cause another to sin. This may mean not seeing a popular movie that we want to see. Possibly we may need to abstain from drinking with certain friends. We do this not because it I necessarily wrong but because we love the other person and want to help them on their road to maturity.
Now some times we need to evaluate what we are doing. Jesus did not give us license to sin. We may in fact find we are justifying our actions. If we find they are detrimental to others we need to take a long hard look at what we are doing because it is most likely detrimental to us as well. After all Jesus told us to make sure we deal with the plank in our own eye before we try to remove the splinter from our brother’s eye.
Have a blessed day,