Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Romans 14:13-23

Unlike last week, the message in today's reading is clear to me. Paul gives us sound instruction regarding respecting others.

Paul reminds us what we already know - that our actions are not a private matter. Our actions do influence others and we need to be mindful of others whenever we do something. Even though it may be our "right" to do something, a mature Christian will treat others with love and compassion. Paul says that just because it is lawful to commit a given act, we do not have to do that act and we should consider how it affects others before we do it.

Many people wish for peace and speak loudly for it. Sometimes these same people do not conduct themselves in a way that will bring about peace. In other words they do not walk the talk. If someone wants peace, then he or she will not commit an act that is offensive to someone else. Sometimes meekness, humility, self-denial, and love are the qualities required for peace. Often we have to think of the other person before ourselves to have peace.

Why is this important? If our actions offend others, they will not let us get close enough to them to have a relationship. Without relationships we are unable to bring more people closer to Christ. If we do not bring more people into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ, then we are not complying with one of the commandments He gave us.

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