Have you ever looked up to someone and used them as your moral compass? Made a decision on a gray area based on how they made a decision? This is normal, and can be helpful if you’re glancing at someone with maturity to help you live out your faith in tangible ways.
But this chapter reminds us of something incredibly important: each person is accountable to Christ, not to others. There are definitely some uncompromising topics talked about in the Bible (the Ten Commandments, for example), but there are a lot of issues out there that people give equal standing with God’s law.
If God has personally convicted you about something, respond to it. I have friends who refuse to sit through R rated movies. Others who will not shop at stores who unethically source their merchandise. Some who don’t drink alcohol, so they don’t discourage anyone struggling in that area. These are all great, godly decisions. But making a commitment to live out our personal convictions doesn’t give us the right to judge others who aren’t convicted in the same way.
“Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” 14:12
We all have a personal relationship with God that can not be compared to others. If you feel the Lord tugging on your heart about something, listen up.
“But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.”
Reading this compels me not to compare my lifestyle to others, but to be obedient to what God is asking of me and stay mindful of who my choices influence.
Take a minute today and think about what God is asking of you personally. Are you obedient to this? Do you struggle with expecting everyone to live their life the way you feel called to?