'Accept other believers who are weak in faith.' Romans 14:1 NLT
During the first century cities like Rome attracted people of many cultures, languages, religions and customs. Consequently, the early church's mission to 'make disciples of all the nations' sometimes led to conflict and confusion. For example, some believers continued to observe a seventh-day Sabbath, while others who didn't eat meat wanted to remain vegetarians. It's why Paul wrote, 'Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue...about what they think is right or wrong' (Romans 14:1 NLT). Note, he didn't tell us to just put up with them, but to 'accept', welcome, receive, acknowledge, and make allowance for those who aren't carbon copies of us.
Even though the issues we deal with nowadays are different from those of the early church, it's easy to become divisive and judgmental. But remember, 'Each of us will give a personal account to God. So let's stop condemning each other...instead...live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble' (Romans 14:12-13 NLT). When legitimate differences arise on fundamental issues and there's no wiggle room for negotiation, behave in a Christlike way without picking fights, criticising and looking down on people. Satan's goal is to sidetrack us into splitting hairs while God's Kingdom suffers. Instead, 'Be devoted to one another in...love. Honour one another above yourselves' (Romans 12:10 NIV).
Learn to respect your fellow believers not because of who they are, but whose they are! Paul writes, 'May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other... Then all of you can join together with one voice' (Romans 15:5-6 NLT).
Soulfood: 1 Ki 21-22 Mark 10:1-12 Ps 82 Pro 12:18-19,