Ever go on a diet and have someone tempt you with something that is not on your list of things you can eat? Or have anyone of you been out to dinner or out with your friends having a good ol’ time and start buying people drinks? And even closer to home, ever been out watching people drink and judge them because to you that is not how a “Christian” should live their life? Once again, you got me on all three of those questions…guilty as charged. I remember when my husband wanted to become a vegetarian and I would forget that he was and offer him a bite of my hamburger and in my day of “spreading my wings” I would start buying people drinks so I wouldn’t be the only one “having a good time”. I know your like, “Okay, Cis, what is the harm in that? Where are you going with this?”
Well, once again I came across this passage of the Bible during Bible study the other night in Romans 14:13-14, 21-22 “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do ANYTHING else that will cause your brother to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.” In other words my dear friends, if you know of a friend who struggles with bad eating habits, or struggles with a drinking problem, pornography, buying things they cannot afford, etc, it is commanded that we do not knowingly go out and buy McDonalds and eat it in front of them, drink alcohol in front of them, watch rated R movies with them, or go on a spending spree in their presence. And most certainly are not to judge them but to “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (Romans 14:19) This is not coming from the the book of Cissy, but the Bible in black in white. “Isn’t that hypocrisy then Cis?” No, hypocrisy is professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not actually hold. For example, you stating Christians shouldn’t drink and you, being a Christian, go out bar hoppin. Or my favorite, you feel people should have a planned budget and you judge a friend for making wrong decisions about how they spend their money because they have to borrow money that week to pay their car payment when the month before you were borrowing money to make your ends meet.
If you have found yourself in any one of those scenarios let me encourage you to let Romans 14:13-14, 21-22 really speak to your heart…it spoke volumes to mine! I am not stating my beliefs on what Christians should eat, drink, watch, or how they should manage their money. I am just stating we should not be stumbling blocks to those that struggle in this life but to make every effort to edify and encourage them, without judging, and with the same mercy Christ showed us. For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat one day, let’s not make anyone feel they are already standing before it!!
Romans 15:7 :Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”