Romans 14:13-21

Today our country celebrates life, liberty, and the pursuit of justice. Therefore, we must also concentrate on valuing what creates harmony and helps one another’s character grow. Our collective life is about more than me and mine. It’s not simply a pursuit of individual happiness. It is about all of us. To pursue life, liberty, and justice, we focus on each other and our life together.

From the earliest days of Christian discipleship, followers of Christ have struggled with a temptation to claim their superiority. The Gospel of Luke reports, “An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest” (9:46). For the early church in Rome, this juicy conflict over which believers are greatest was about meat and an individual’s eating preferences. In his letter, Paul shifts the focus from their passing judgment on the basis of culinary habits to their resolving to never put an obstacle or hindrance in one another’s way (v. 13). 

We continue to find this wisdom difficult to follow. We are prone to find fault and be critical. Paul says in no uncertain terms that they should turn their critical, evaluative skills on their own behavior rather than someone else’s. 

In a world that majors in division, we too easily forget what it actually means to live with love toward others. The kingdom of God we long for is, after all, the kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding (v. 19). Let us pursue that today.


How do you pursue the things that make for peace and mutual upbuilding? 


Pray today for opportunities to express Christ’s love and peace to your neighbor.

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