Tuesday: No Offense

Read Romans 14:15-23 (see also 1 Cor. 8:12-13). Summarize on the lines below the gist of what Paul is saying. What principle can we take from this passage that we can apply in all areas of our life?

Truthfulness of Scripture

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

In Romans 14:17-20 Paul is putting various aspects of Christianity into proper perspective. Although diet is important, Christians should not quarrel over some people’s choices to eat vegetables instead of flesh meats that might have been sacrificed to idols. Instead, they ought to focus on righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. How might we apply this idea to questions of diet today in our church? However much the health message, and especially the teachings on diet, can be a blessing to us, not everyone sees this subject in the same way, and we need to respect those differences.

In Romans 14:22, amid all this talk about leaving people to their own conscience, Paul adds a very interesting caveat: “Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves” (NIV). What warning is Paul giving here? How does this balance out the rest of what he is saying in this context?

Have you heard someone say, “It is none of anyone’s business what I eat or what I wear or what kind of entertainment I engage in”? Is that so? None of us lives in a vacuum. Our actions, words, deeds, and even diet can affect others, either for good or for bad. It’s not hard to see how. If someone who looks up to you sees you doing something “wrong,” he or she could be influenced by your example to do that same thing. We fool ourselves if we think otherwise. To argue that you didn’t force the person is beside the point. As Christians, we have responsibilities to one another, and if our example can lead someone astray, we are culpable.

What kind of example do you present? Would you feel comfortable with having others, particularly young people or new believers, following your example in all areas? What does your answer say about you?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons