Romans Reading and Devotion // Day 29

Read Romans 14:13-23

Paul gives us some more guidelines on the issues at hand.

First, Paul notes that he is not neutral on these issues. Specifically, he believes that it is OK to eat meat that comes from the marketplace (v. 14, 20). But he gives us two more principles to consider.

First, love trumps doctrine. That is to say, it is more important to love your fellow Christian (and say nothing), than to prove that you are right (and potentially hurt our brother or sister, v. 13).

Second, love trumps freedom. We are free in Christ from the Jewish Law (Gal 5:1; Rom 7:4), but our freedom must not be used to harm another (v. 15), either intentionally (by flaunting their choices in front of others), or unintentionally (by failing to consider how others may be affected by our choices). Those who consider themselves “strong” in the faith need to be considerate of the weak (and not vice versa) in the same way that adults need to considerate of children.

On the other hand, you don’t have to be a pushover. If someone doesn’t remain silent but speaks against your position, you can defend it (v. 16).

So, these principles apply: (1) love trumps being right or being free, (2) act out of conviction rather than fear or doubt, and (3) when in doubt, remain silent.

And pray that we would remember that love of God and our fellow believers is to take priority in all our decisions, and pray that we use our freedoms to build up the body of Christ.

Written by Greg Goss


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