The day after writing the post, One’s freedom, another’s captivity, I was reading in Romans 14 in my bible. If you aren’t familiar with this passage, click on the link and refresh your memory. Paul is addressing the issue of the weak and the strong. Basically, he’s telling the Roman church that when it comes to disputable matters, don’t let those become points of contention. Instead of judging our fellow brothers/believers, try hard not to be a stumbling block to them. “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” (Romans 14:21)
We need to be careful not to be so focused on the outside factors that we fail to see the heart of it all: Jesus. We get caught up in legalistic questions within the church when we need to get caught up in Truth. Judgment seems to be the more natural response instead of sincere love.
I’m guilty. How about you? But how do we change? How do we shift our view from the outward to the inward? How do we stop comparing ourselves to others? How do we stop judging others based on what they condemn or approve?
“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Christ died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 13-19)
So, where do we start? First, stop passing judgment. That means we have to stop viewing the situation(s) through our own eyes and seek God’s heart. This might mean a total makeover of the mind and heart. We just might have to lay down our “rights” and opinions. We just might have to throw our hands up and say, “God, I don’t know any other way except viewing people through judgmental eyes. Please teach me to see through your heart’s eyes.”
Next, anytime you stop doing one thing, you start doing another. Start seeking ways to honor Christ through loving his people. Be considerate and don’t shove your opinions (on issues that really don’t matter) down someone’s throat. We are all at different stages in our walk with Christ, and some people haven’t even started their walk yet! I’m right there with you when I say, let’s try hard to learn to see others like God sees them instead of through our limited, judgmental eyesight.