Read Romans 14:1-12
Paul gives the Romans (and us) some very helpful guidelines on getting along with fellow church members.
The general issue is: how do we get along with others when we disagree on matters of doctrine or practice? Paul dealt with two specific issues. First, may Christians eat meat, (with the possibility that it had been previously sacrificed to idols; see 1 Cor 8, 10), or may they only eat vegetables (thus taking the safer route)? Second, are the Jewish Sabbaths or festivals still to be observed, or are all days alike?
Paul gives church laypeople (not pastors or elders) two principles to follow.
First, “each one should be convinced in his own mind” (v. 5). That is, people should do what they believe is right, without being cowed or intimidated by others, or by operating out of fear or prejudice.
Second, mind your own business. Each person’s acts are part of their devotion to the Lord (v. 7-9), and Christ died for believers on both sides of an issue (v. 10). Each person is responsible to God and will be judged by God (10-12). So, MYOB! Silence is golden.
The application of this passage should be fairly obvious: (1) love one another, (2) give one another the benefit of the doubt, (3) if you feel you must speak with someone, talk to a pastor or elder and let them handle it.
So, thank God for our freedoms, and pray for all believers that we may make choices that honor and please God.
Written by Greg Goss