Romans 14

This devotional is written by Rachel Couffignals.

Romans 14

The weak and the strong
Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarrelling over disputable matters. 2 One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3 The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. 4 Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

‘“As surely as I live,” says the Lord,
“Every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.”’

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling-block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.


This is more than the rise of the vegans. Although I'm sure when my children grow up they will tell me how wrong it was that I fed them meat when they were young. No, This is about different opinions across the church on what is ‘godly’ or not. This is about personal convictions. This is about what a persons own core tells them is right. Its funny how we can have these deep set convictions, whilst the person next to us in church feels differently. I remember a friend at school never doing homework on a Sunday because she felt it was wrong. I remember trying to copy her thinking oh wow this is what I'm supposed to be doing, but my own conviction wasn’t that strong and my time management for doing homework was even worse. I started university believing it was the right thing not to drink and telling people I didn’t drink because I was a Christian- and my conviction in this was so strong! Obviously, this wasn’t the greatest way to make new friends during freshers week and possibly did more harm to what it meant to be a Christian if anything. Where did this conviction come from? There was no biblical instruction to not drink. In fact wine comes up a lot in the bible! These convictions changed growing up but there are plenty that remain that are out of odds with other Christians. The 10 commandments give us clear instructions. These are clear no-no’s. There’s no disputing these. But of course, there are areas where the bible is silent or perhaps vague and open to interpretation. Our convictions are heavily influenced by our upbringing, cultural bias and personal dislikes. Let’s not judge those who have different convictions to us. Remember their upbringing, cultural bias and personal dislikes are different to you and so have moulded their convictions differently.  The passage ends with ‘if you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning (NLT). Basically, if it makes you feel guilty, then its wrong. Echoed later by Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio with the hit ‘always let your conscience be your guide’. Focus on what your convictions are. We are only accountable to God.

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