Accept anyone whose faith might seem a little weak to you, and don’t argue over matters of minor importance.

One person might think it’s alright to eat anything, but another person may be a convinced vegetarian. He who eats everything mustn’t look down on the one who doesn’t. And the vegetarian mustn’t condemn the man who eats everything, because God has accepted them both. Who are you to condemn someone else’s servant? His own master will judge whether he stands or falls. And he will stand! Because the Lord will help him!

One person might think that one day’s more important than another, while another person treats every day is alike. Each of them should have thought out his position and be fully convinced in his own mind about what he believes. He who thinks one day’s more important than another does so out of respect for the Lord.  And the man who eats meat also does that out of respect for the Lord. And so both of them are giving thanks to God in their own way. Similarly, the vegetarian is also giving thanks to God. For nobody lives to himself alone, and nobody dies to himself alone. If we live, it’s for the Lord. And if we die, it’s for the Lord. So, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. That’s why Christ died and rose – so he could be Lord of both of the living and the dead.

So how can you judge your brother? Or how can you even look down on your brother? Remember, we shall all stand before God’s judgment seat. As it’s written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

We see, then, that each of us will have to give an account of ourselves to God. So let’s stop passing judgment on each other. Instead, make up your mind not to cause another brother to stumble or fall.

I’m convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. However, if anyone believes that something’s unclean, then for that person it is unclean. And if your brother is caused distress by something you eat, then you’re not behaving with love. Don’t let what you want to eat destroy someone for whom Christ died. And don’t let something think is good do harm to another person, because the kingdom of God isn’t about what we eat or drink. No, it’s about justice, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. And anyone who serves Christ in this way will be pleasing to God, and other people will approve of it, too.

Let’s make every effort to live peace with each other and to build each other up. Don’t destroy the work of God for the sake of something you eat. All food is clean, but it’s wrong to eat anything that makes someone else stumble. Indeed, it’s better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else that might make your brother fall.

Whatever your thoughts may be about these issues, keep them between yourself and God. Happy is the man who doesn’t have any doubts about something that he’s doing. If, however, a man have doubts over something he’s going to eat, he shouldn’t eat it. That’s because then he wouldn’t be doing it from faith. And anything that isn’t done from faith is a sin.


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