Let us not judge one another anymore.
Romans 14:13 says, “Let us not judge one another anymore.” This chapter is talking about areas the Bible does not address specifically. Sins like adultery, drunkenness, and theft are issues the Bible judges specifically, and we do not have the freedom to disobey God’s Word. But Romans 14 talks about the gray areas of the Christian life–areas about which Christians disagree.
There are several areas on which Christians today disagree. First, consider the issue of parenting. Is it right to practice birth control? Should we educate our children in public school, private school, or home school? Those are personal decisions that parents have to make regarding their own children. Second, consider the issue of personal behavior. Some Christians enjoy a glass of wine with their dinner. Some people enjoy dancing. Some go to the movies. Other Christians say these behaviors are wrong. So much of this is cultural. In our country, until recently smoking was not an issue. Everybody was doing it. But if you had a beer, you were going to Hell. It was selective legalism. Third, consider political issues. There are Christians who are Democrats, who think government ought to be more expansive. There are Christians who are Republicans, who believe in less government. Frankly, I can use the Bible to argue either position. Fourth, consider doctrinal issues. Some Christians are premillennialists, others are amillennialists, and some do not have a clue. Some Christians believe the sign gifts are operational today; others believe they have ceased. Some like contemporary music; others like traditional music. Max Lucado says it best: “Legalism makes my opinion your burden, makes my opinion your boundary, and makes my opinion your obligation.” When we disagree with other believers in these areas, instead of judging them, we are to accept them as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Why should we quit judging and start accepting? Paul gave three answers to that question. First of all, God accepts that brother with whom you disagree. Many Christians think the dividing line is between Christians who like contemporary music and those who like traditional music, or those who drink and those who do not drink, or those who are Republicans and those who are Democrats. That is not where the chasm is. The great divide is between those who trust in Christ as Savior and those who do not. Second, we are to quit judging other Christians because God is responsible for them. Paul said in Romans 14:4, “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” If that Christian with whom you disagree is wrong, then God will correct them if they need correction. It is none of your business. Third, God will judge them. Whatever we choose to do or not do, it ought to be with a realization that one day, even as Christians, we are going to be judged by God. This is not a judgment of condemnation, determining whether we go to Heaven or Hell. That has already been settled. It is a judgment of commendation–of rewards.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Drinking, Dancing, And Doubtful Things” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Max Lucado, “UpWords” (San Antonio, TX: UpWords Radio Ministry, May 1993), 2.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.