About Judging Others

Romans 14:1-12

Paul’s discussion of our response to grace now takes a different path, for Paul is discussing different opinions among believers. He begins in 14:1-3. Verse 1 sets the tone for this discussion: Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. It could be that for many Christians, the concept of “disputable matters” is a little bit of a shock; yes, there are matters over which we can each have our own opinions!

Paul uses eating habits as an example; specifically over whether or not a person should eat meat, something that many discuss in our times. Who cares if someone else has a different opinion on eating meat? If you eat meat, good for you; if you don’t, good for you; there is nothing to fight about. Neither party is superior to the other, no matter what anybody says.

In verses 4-9, he raises the discussion up a notch: Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand (14:4). There is neither a brother nor sister in Christ anywhere on earth who is my servant; they are all servants of Jesus Christ just like I am, so how can I expect to be their judge? Our Lord will do the judging, and I must accept all of His servants, for if He has accepted them, I also must accept them in love.

Verses 10-12 bring this point all the way home:

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think that I have enough to worry about without compounding matters by trying to place myself above anyone else.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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