Romans 14:1 NASB “Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not to have quarrels over opinions.”
Actually, the whole of Romans 14 is really something that more of us, myself included, should take to heart. If you have the time, please read through what the Apostle Paul says to the Church at Rome. And while the context has to do with Christian related opinions about eating and drinking, and valuing one day over another, the scope of what Paul is discussing can indeed be much larger.
Have you ever run into someone who literally seems to have an opinion about everything and feels that it is their calling in life to enlighten us with their understanding? I know that some of you may find this hard to believe, but in my younger days, I could have easily been included in this category. And before you start to move your lips, yes, I am aware that I can still be guilty of doing the same thing. It is indeed, something that all of us need to guard against.
Expressing our opinions to others can indeed be problematic and as the Apostle Paul indicates, it can have detrimental effects and one does need to be careful and question our own motives and the depth of our understanding. Most of us older Christians, who have been around for a while, have experienced the hard lesson of entering into a discussion, to which we actually had little understanding, and then being found out for our folly and being chastised for it. It’s not usually a fun experience but it is one that is necessary. The hard truth of the matter is that sometimes, we simply don’t have enough knowledge about the particular subject we are commenting on, to have an informed opinion. And just so you know, from some hard earned experience, having an informed opinion considers all of the various aspects, not just those opinions that support what you happen to believe in. It means looking at information that both supports and calls into question. And if we haven’t done the required homework, which is quite often the case, it would be prudent to keep our uninformed opinions to ourselves.
And as we read through Romans 14 we see Paul stretch this principle about accepting someone who honours one day over another as compared with deeming all days as the same or chooses to eat or drink as compared with not to eat or drink, towards THINGS or ANYTHING that we are to pursue that makes for peace and the building of one another up as per Romans 14:19-21 which reads:
“So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are clean, but they are evil for the person who eats and causes offense. It is good not to eat meat or to drink wine, or to do anything by which your brother or sister stumbles.” (emphasis is mine)
If one frequents the various news media outlets online or on TV, it’s pretty easy to acknowledge that we are currently swamped with conflicting information on a wide variety of subjects. What one segment of our society sees as “truth”, the other side of our divided society sees as “lies”. What you see depends largely on what side you stand on. It is so easy to get side railed into propagating the merits of one side over the other. But I would like you to note what the Apostle Paul says, who was no stranger to conflicting opinions, in Romans 14:16-19:
“Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For the one who serves Christ in this way is acceptable to God and approved by other people. So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.” (emphasis mine)
Our focus is not to be of this world, our focus is to be on the kingdom of God and our focus is not about earthly leadership but rather to be on Christ our King. We all have opinions, but not all opinions build up one another.
Something to think about.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!