Read: Romans 14:1-4
We need to change our mindset when it comes to judging others. Everyone has their own opinions, beliefs, and preferences. We can’t hold anyone to our own personal views. There is a fine line with convictions and accepting sin.
Abstaining from eating meat is not a new trend. Believe it or not, it has been a heated topic for centuries. In Paul’s day, some refused to eat meat that was sacrificed to idols. In our day it is often just a personal conviction. I have been a vegetarian for almost four years now, not because I believe meat isn’t intended for consumption or, because I think the Bible says we shouldn’t eat it. I stopped eating meat because I did not enjoy the meat that was being served in my college cafeteria.
I have stumbled upon so many people on two sides of this dietary spectrum. I know people who are vegan/vegetarians who commend me for sticking to a plant-based diet because we need to save the animals, and then there are the hardcore carnivores who give me a hard time for not eating meat.
I have had so many arguments, so much time wasted with people telling me that it’s bad not to eat meat. But the thing is, my decision not to eat meat isn’t on anyone else. It’s a decision I can make on my own. The same goes for someone who wants to eat meat, I have no judgment for them, they can eat whatever they want to.
Romans 14:1-3 says, “As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.” The key factor, according to the apostle, is conscience. Those on either side are not to despise the other.
Now, this can relate to other topics ranging from listening to certain songs to swearing. We need to see our faults before we go on calling others out on their shortcomings. It is not our job to judge one another’s tastes. However, it is our job to hold one another accountable.
There is a difference between judgment and loving someone enough to point out something wrong they may be doing. In Galatians 6:1-2, it says, “If anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Even in this passage, it ends with watching keeping a close eye on yourself before correcting others.
We should never allow our differences in taste lead to contempt for one another. As verse 4 says, “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”
Do you struggle with judging others? When you find yourself in this situation, pause and think about your intentions. Are you making a judgment out of love or are you trying to take on a job that isn’t yours?