Romans 14:1-5 NKJV Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has receive him. Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.
Little babies are so cute; they laugh and coo and make all kinds of funny faces. There’s not a person that I know that doesn’t get caught up in the mesmerizing smiles of a little baby. But, have you ever noticed that a little baby gets a certain intense look on it’s face when he/she is busy taking care of business? You know….that look of concentration and then it’s sealed by a certain smell?! Well, babies all have dirty diapers at one time or another. And when that happens usually the only person that wants to be around the cute little fella is Mommy!
Likewise, as Christians at different levels of faith, sometimes we get dirty in life and aren’t too pleasant to be around. And some people seem to have no tolerance for those who need a little special attention so they can get cleaned up to start over again. Paul says here in Romans 14 that we are to receive one who is weak in the faith. What does that mean? Well, it means that we all start out as baby Christians and grow into maturity, but along the way we slip and fall and sometimes we aren’t too pleasant to be around, but those who are more mature are to receive the weaker ones and help them grow up. They aren’t to condemn them because they may have a few funny beliefs along the way. Everyone goes through the growth process and some are further along than others. But we are to receive them and help them along.
The New Living Translation says it this way: Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right and wrong. Verse 4: Who are you to condemn God’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord’s power will help them do as they should.
Sometimes it’s hard not to play Holy Ghost Jr. in someone else’s life, but really, God can take care of His own. That doesn’t mean we aren’t to encourage and even offer scriptural advice or counsel as they need and want help. But the condemning and judging of brothers and sisters in Christ is not to be a part of our lives.
Paul says it this way in the book of Galatians:
Galatians 6:1-5 NLT Dear brothers and sisters, if another Christian is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s troubles and problems, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone in need, you are only fooling yourself. You are really a nobody. Be sure to do what you should, for then you will enjoy the personal satisfaction of having done your work well, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
Are you struggling with a troublesome sin? Let another brother or sister in Christ come alongside to help. Reach out to others to share in your pain and let them encourage you and lift you up so you can walk the walk of faith again.
Do you know someone who is struggling through a difficult time? Reach out to them and help them get back up again. You never know when you might be in need of a helping hand. We are all responsible to God for our own lives. Maybe there is someone around you who needs a word of encouragement. Be the one who shares a smile, a good word, a hug and a shoulder to cry on. Be the friend that you would like for someone else to be to you.
Romans 15:5-7 NLT May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you to live in complete harmony with each other—each with an attitude of Christ Jesus toward the other. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. So accept each other just as Christ has accepted you; then God will be glorified.
Father, I thank You for placing Your love in the believer’s heart. You loved us so that we could love others. May each one of us seek You and receive Your love and then give it to the next person we meet. Father, I pray for those who don’t know Your love today. I pray that they will open their hearts to You to receive Your love, Your grace and your salvation. Please tear down the blinders that Satan has hung over their minds that is blinding them to the light of the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ so they might be saved. Convict their hearts, Holy Spirit, of their need for Jesus as Savior and Lord. Touch them and awaken their spirit to new life in You, Father. And for those who may be struggling in their walk with You, Father, send a strong Christian alongside of them to help them walk their walk of faith. Cause us to receive each other just as You have received us, without condemnation, but in love. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen