Do Not Judge By Temporary Things

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirt (Romans 14:17 ESV).

Spirituality cannot be measured or judged by external activities.  What a person eats, drinks or wears does not make him or her saved or spiritual.  A cross on your necklace is not proof of your relationship with Christ.  Listening to certain genres of music or certain artists does not make you any more righteous; indeed, your only righteousness before God is what God himself gave you in Christ Jesus.  This is why the apostle Paul warns us about passing judgment on others based on external and temporary things (Romans 14).

Yet Paul also warns us about abusing our freedom.  This is the flip side of the truth about eating and drinking (Romans 14:20-21).  You are free to please God, not to please yourself.

Be careful what you eat and what you do, because “the Father up above is looking down in love.”  Others are watching you, too.  You must not let your freedom in eating and drinking become a “stumbling block” to others (Romans 14:13).   Choose to abstain whenever eating or drinking or attending or participating would cause your Christian brothers and sisters any discouragement or embarrassment.  “Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God” (Romans 14:20 ESV).  Abstinence, even when your conscience is clean, is the way to “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”

For more encouragement visit the Daily Bible Verse page.