So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another. (Romans 14:19)
As we continue our reading through Romans 14, we see Paul urging the Roman Christians to not sweat the small non-essential doctrine differences with other believers. We can’t judge what our brothers and sisters eat or drink, but instead we are encouraged to be tolerant and give grace to what our Christian brothers and sisters choose to do. However, we do need to be united and firm in our belief of essential doctrine like believing Jesus is the only way to salvation, faith in Christ by grace alone, the deity of Christ, and the death and resurrection of Christ.
Paul gave some great advice in 1 Corinthians 10: 31-33, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or Greeks or the church of God, just as I also try to please everyone in everything, not seeking my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.” Our behavior, as Christians, should be above reproach in this world not because our acceptance with God depends on it, but because our behavior will be seen by others and therefore glorify our God in heaven. Paul sought to please others in order that many more would be saved. Let’s follow Paul’s example by not seeking our own interests, but rather the interest of Jesus Christ and let our actions build and encourage the body of Christ.
Before reacting in judgment or divisiveness, will you pray and ask God to show you how you can choose to respond to living your life in promoting peace and building up others in the body of Christ? Take every opportunity to do your part in building peace and unity with other Christian brothers and sisters, because others are watching how we treat each other in the Christian community.