November 11, 2021
How do you decide the will of God in areas that are not clearly defined in Scripture? Romans 14 is a key chapter for us as believers who live to help others and glorify God. It gives us principles upon which to make decisions about “grey areas” of life, i.e., those areas that one Christian believes are legitimate to indulge in while it hurts another’s conscience.
Our commitment to the higher purpose drives our decisions about our lesser issues.
While we shouldn’t bow to the legalistic Pharisee who puts others in bondage, Paul is reminding us that there is a higher purpose in everything we do. We are to live for Christ. Most of the areas believers disagree about are non-essential for our living. We should gladly defer on them so we will not create an unnecessary stumbling block.
This has been a wonderful instruction for me regarding alcohol, for instance, all my life. I don’t need it. I have watched it destroy families. I don’t want it to destroy mine. Further, I don’t want other people to be destroyed so I can enjoy a glass of wine, a beer, etc. It’s simply not worth it. I can testify that my life has been better because this is simply not an issue for me. And the reason I abstain is not a direct command, but this guiding “stumbling block” principle in Romans 14.
I use alcohol as an illustration because it’s a common point, but there are dozens of areas where this stumbling block principle applies.
We are to live HIGHER, in what we say, what we do, what we think. And we should always consider how our lives are affecting others and what questionable areas are saying to them about God. “Our task as believers,” as Jonathan Edwards said, “is to give the world a right opinion about God.”
The Lord is our great portion. We find our satisfaction in knowing, loving, and serving Him. Anything we lay aside in this life for His glory and the good of others will be superabundantly rewarded eternally.
Father, thank You for the freedom of saying “no” to lesser things to gain the greatest thing. Keep my focus on You today, for You are my sufficient portion and highest joy!
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