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Accepting Each Other
Lord, Christians have always been willing to fight over this and that. In this day of crisis, we need to get over this and that and unite with all those who love the Son. We need to take the Apostle Paul’s advice in Romans 14:1 “Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.”
However much we might disagree with others, we should not put them down and ridicule them. Even when we just know for certain that we are right in the argument, we still should treat them as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Romans 14:3 "Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them.” Perhaps they have never read the Westminster Confession of Faith at all, but if God welcomes them, who am I to say that they are not welcome.
Romans 14:4, “Who are you to pass judgment on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Who am I to judge a slave that does not belong to me? She will be judged by her master, and her master, who is God, will find her service satisfactory, because God will help her to serve. And if God is helping her, shall I set myself up to be better than God? Not at all, I should be helping her also.
If people differ from me in their understanding of the end of time, what matter is that? No one knows such things anyway.
If they dress differently in church, what matter is that? One dresses up to show respect for God; another does not dress up but comes also to show respect for God. I should not consider how they dress but whom they respect. I should tolerate others, even when I do not agree them, because of God whom they serve.
Accepting another person is not just passive. Acceptance reaches out to others and lifts them up. Lord, it seems that there are two kinds of people in this world: There are those who tear down and those who build up. Any lazy fool can tear things up and tear things down. But it takes wisdom and work to lift up and build up, and that is what you have called us to do. You have called us to a “mutual upbuilding.” And the best way to do that is by example.
You have called me, Lord, to be an example. You have called me to "Welcome those who are weak in faith." And you have told me how to make them welcome. Romans 14:3, “Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another.” You said that I should not look at other people's conduct to see what they are doing wrong, but rather I should look at my own conduct to see that I am not doing anything to cause them to do wrong.
Give me the wisdom and strength to apply this truth, O Lord. In Jesus Name, we pray. Amen.
If you have questions or comments, email Tony Grant
Copyright 2000 York Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church
Last Modified: 09/12/05