Romans 14 never made too much sense to me because i didn’t realize that it was talking about literal meat and vegetables, literal differences, and literal preferential convictions.
as pastor b talked about how the church needs to be unified, and not so much uniform, i was not expecting him to discuss differences in beliefs. just as in Romans 14, some people might prefer vegetables over meat and vice versa. neither is “better” nor are either of them wrong. certain behaviors and patterns may affect and cause some people to stumble, while others might not be affected or susceptible to that particular type of temptation. does this mean the person who can soar about that type of temptation and sin has the right to act a certain way? yes, but only in love. if by exercising certain rights, a brother or sister causes another to stumble, it is a warning that they should not exercise those rights, at least around that brother or sister.
what a powerful and insightful message! however, the part that stuck out to me the most was not the main point of his sermon, which was essentially love in true unity in the church based on the instructions in Romans 14. what stood out to me the most was his point about how everybody has different limits or different struggles. some people can handle certain behaviors and lifestyles that other cannot. lately, i’ve been influenced by some of the thinking around me, and realizing that i am starting to expect the same level or energy, devotion, intelligence, etc. from everyone that i meet. the people around me have blatantly shown me that this is how they think and it has rubbed off of me. it is wrong to assume that people are not affected by certain behaviors simply because i don’t struggle with a certain sin. this makes us different, but we are still united in the body of Christ. more importantly though, it is important to understand our own limits and our own struggles. i realized that i need to ask God and pray for wisdom in the activities that i participate in. do they allow me to glorify God? is performing these actions hindering me from dedicating every hour of my life to Christ? do i need to be smarter with my time and energy? are there things in my life that should be replaced with things more sanctifying and deliberately glorifying to God?
just as pastor b said, Christians should not be defined by what they resist, but what they relentlessly pursue.