“Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables.” vs. 2
While it may appear that Paul is weighing in on the side of carnivores against vegetarians with these words, he’s actually not speaking about proper diet at all. Instead, he has in mind those for whom eating and drinking has a spiritual significance…and he’s reminding the Romans that quarreling about such things can be bad for the community. Many of us have seen the effects of similar debates in recent years as society has become more polarized. Almost against our will, we are drawn into taking positions on all manner of moral, social, and political issues…and some of us have lost friends…or have become so arrogant that only the like-minded can tolerate us. Of course we will have opinions about any number of things, some of which are connected to our faith, but the moment we begin to judge one another we step across the love boundary and put precious relationships in jeopardy. Sometimes our words and actions can even damage or weaken another person’s faith…and that has a powerful effect on the whole body. Paul tells us “to bear with one another”…and put the most charitable construction on what others say and do. Except for those few of us who sit on the bench in courts of law, none of us have been called to pronounce judgments on our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thought for the Day: How do I deal with those who hold rigid contrary opinions?