Romans 14:13 (ESV): 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
After the various instructions in Romans 12-13 for the believers to love one another, Paul tackled an issue in Romans 14-15 that sought to divide the early church.
Should they eat meat sold in the marketplace that had been offered as sacrifices in the pagan temples? Some believed there was no issue, as there is only one God. Others felt like eating such meat was a participation in idol worship.
Paul’s response was that each person should follow the dictates of their conscience as guided by the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, none should seek to encourage someone else to violate their conscience. Rather, they should never pass judgment on each other.
Paul’s exhortation was, in essence, to practice the love he had challenged them to demonstrate.
Today, there are a variety of issues that can cause difficulties in the Christian community. We could criticize each other. We could ignore how we feel the Holy Spirit wants us personally to live.
Or we could practice simple love: demonstrate our love to Jesus by following the Holy Spirit’s prompting in our lives and demonstrate our love for others by trusting that they are following the Holy Spirit’s prompting also.
Heavenly Father, help me to live a holy life characterized by my passionate love for you and compassionate love for others. May I never be known for criticism or judgment. Instead, may I practice Christian love toward everyone with whom I come into contact. Amen.