Am I my brother’s keeper…yes, more than I thought.

Temple of God  |  September 21

…let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.
Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.
It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.
But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Romans 14:19-23

Dear God, You have taught us that we have freedom in our choices of food and drink. Here You teach us that when we make decisions about eating or drinking that we should feel we are acting in a manner consistent with Your will.

You teach us that our conscience must be clear when we make choices about eating and drinking and that if our heart convicts us concerning such things, we should refrain. You also tell us that if we do not feel right about what we are doing and we go on doing it, we are sinning.

Father, there is another issue that You bring up. When a person is upset by our choices of eating and drinking and if we insist on moving forward with that choice, we err. If our brother in Christ does not feel drinking wine or eating pork or any other prohibition, is proper, we need not make an issue of it and You say we should never cause that person to stumble. Give us discernment in such matters, we pray.

Father, it all seems to come down to our love for You and our neighbor. If we have a clear conscience before You we are free to eat and drink whatever we choose, knowing that doing either to excess, leads to problems. If we truly love our neighbor we will not do anything that offends what You describe as a “weaker brother” simply because we love them and do not want an issue of that sort to divide us.

You sum it all up by saying “…let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” Let that be our goal we pray. Amen.

Bruce Caldwell

The Sola Scriptura Project

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