Being married has opened my eyes to my competitiveness and how destructive it can be when not used appropriately. I compete with my wife (Christina) about the dumbest things. Things that are not even essential to a healthy marriage. I will defend my side until she says the words my pride longs to hear, “you’re right.” In fact, it’s things that over time, have brought unnecessary strife of which I’ve had to repent.
Growing up with a father who would never let me win at anything, which I am extremely grateful for, birthed the competitiveness in me. I despise losing. If you have read a few of my previous posts, you have heard my stories. Praise God, anger is no longer a fruit of my competitiveness.
Not only can this stunt the growth of a marriage, it can divide us as believers.
In my recent reading of Romans 14, Paul is comparing one weak in faith and one strong in faith, and states, “One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14:5).
Romans 14 seems to contradict other places in the Word that commands us to judge believers (1 Cor. 5:12-13) (John 7:24).
But within the context of Romans 14, Paul is discussing Christian practices that are not fundamental to our oneness in Christ. It is easy to get in debate over the foods we eat and the clothes we wear and other daily habits we may enjoy differently than our fellow believers.
While our imperfect conscience guides us, we will all give account for our lives.
God doesn’t want believers to pass judgement or despise our brothers over matters not pertaining to righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
“So then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).
As stronger believers, may we not suppress a weak believers’ conscience, but may we welcome them and not quarrel over matters of opinion. As weaker believers, may we act according to our conscience, and be sure to guard our conscience, for God has welcomed us.
Related Post: For When I am Weak, then I Am Strong
While God has gifted us with a conscience that may differ from a weak believer or strong believer, our conscience doesn’t have the final say. God has the final authority. However, may we be careful not to violate our conscience because it feels right. Rather, in faith, let us proceed to honor and worship God, as we continually renew our mind through His word.
“For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.” (Romans 14:17-19)
May we extend grace to our fellow brothers.
May stronger believers extend compassion to those weaker and newer to the faith. And to those new to the faith, I pray that you would not ultimately look to those stronger in the faith for your assurance.
Look to God for complete satisfaction and assurance, and I hope those stronger in the faith will extend you grace and be the example God has commanded them to be. And I hope they pursue peace and mutual up-building.