One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
“Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another?” Words we really need for today, but we always needed these words. That’s why Paul wrote them.
There is a plethora of intolerance today. Believe what I believe or you’re not worthy of my time. Think as I think or I will no longer associate with you. Even if we are in agreement on 99 percent of things, that 1 percent is enough for one to judge and condemn the other as not worthy of our time and in some cases not worthy to exist.
In some cases the judgement we pass on those who we disagree with, those who think differently, is so severe we wish to have them criminalized. We desire to have them “locked up” for not being in lock step with our thoughts and attitudes.
Paul is saying this is not our call. Each of us will stand before our own master and what others think, say, or believe will have zero bearing on whether we stand or fall.
Paul is talking about respect. Respect others, those who stay true to their beliefs and don’t just tout them about when it is convenient to do so. Respect those who stay true because it is in their heart, they are seeking their righteousness. You may feel they are seeking in the wrong place or by the wrong means, but what you think is inconsequential. Because each of us must live in our own heart and this is where the master resides.
This is what Paul is saying in verse 3:
Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.
“For God has welcomed him”, that is what we are dealing with. God is not concerned about what road you take, only the destination you are seeking, and that destination is God.
Each of our roads are different. Each road is unique and no two beings travel the same road. Some roads are filled with bumps and curves. Some parts are made with dirt, mud, blacktop or cement. Some parts are straight and smooth. But they are all different and unique.
We each find God in our own way. We each live our lives in our own way. Ours is not to pass judgement and sentence on others. Paul is saying what we all need to hear, “live and let live”, for ours is not to judge, ours is to seek.
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