Getting Along

Posted 6/10/2003 8:00:35 AM

One of the most certain things under the sun is that you will disagree with others. Each one of us has his own opinion, and lives as he thinks is best. This way can be completely self-centered, without any consideration for the well-being of others. It can also be as selfless and Christ Himself, lived in complete humility all for the salvation of all mankind. Most of us actually make it somewhere in between in our Christian lives, wobbling back and forth in our struggle to overcome the world, and claim the victory that is in us, even our faith. 1Jo 5:4

Paul discusses the issue of "agreeing to disagree" with the example of food, in Romans 14. This isn't some debate over which diet is best, or a argument over the different health benefits of different foods; this has to do with idolatry. For some background explanation into this issues, check out 1Corinthians 9:1-13. This isn't a matter of being a vegetarian, this is a deep issue of overcoming idolatry, as many were saved from this practice.

So, if this is simply a matter of helping each other out, why is this so difficult? Because it means I have to give something up. It's one thing to help another when it's out of my extras: extra time, extra money, from the "goodness of my heart." I can easily help others to make myself feel good about doing so, without having to sacrifice anything that I want. Being nice and generous to other people becomes a whole lot harder when it means I have to lose something.

Here's a few reminders to help me through this issue:

  1. Life is for God. Not for me, not for somebody else, not for some noble cause; God. Rom 14:7-9
  2. I am accountable to God. Regardless of how much wool I can pull over anybody's eyes, God cannot be fooled. Rom 14:12
  3. Attitude matters. All the superficial charm and fake concern I can generate will be swept away when I stand before God.
Whether I am judgemental of a person for not meeting my standards, or whether I am contemptuous of another for holding to a stricter standard, I am working against the kingdom of God, and missing out out the approval of God and men Rom 14:18, not to mention the true goals of the church: righteousness, peace, and joy, in the Holy Spirit Rom 14:17.

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