One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. (6) He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. (7) For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. (8) For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.Romans 14:5-8
Paul continues with two positions on what he has already characteried as “doubtful disputations” in verse 1. The first argument is how to regard the holy days of the old testament for the believer. This is much like the previous issue of what to eat and what not to eat. Paul takes the position that people ought to be kind and receive each other regardless of which position they take on these “doubtful disputations”. He points to the motive that each person has for taking the position they do. Even though different believers take differing and often opposite positions their motive is the same. They take the position that they do to be right with the Lord and honor him. It is not a good thing to get in the habit of violating ones own conscience even if you are finding yourself feeling guilty for something that isn’t necessarily wrong. It is a good thing to be sensitive to your God given conscience. It guards unity when we allow each other the room to take the positions that we do on matters such as these.
Here are some principles:
1. We must show each other grace. In matters that are not clearly delineated in scripture we must show each other grace when we don’t come to the same conclusion.
2. We must not violate our own consciences. It is a dangerous thing to begin to live in a way that goes against our consciences, except when our consciences are informed by the Word of God.
3. We must assume the best in others. The scripture says that love hopes all things. This means that the loving thing to do is to think of the best possible motives in the other person. In the above scripture it is to recognize that each believer is coming to their position because they want to honor God.
1. Where do you need to show grace today?
2. Where are you violating your own conscience?
3. Where are you assuming the worst in others rather than the best in others?