In today’s day and age it can be easy to forget that mercy triumphs over judgement – even on Social Media.
Social media is an open door for everyone to express their opinion.
At times this is great, and not so good at other times.
Lots of folks share their opinion on a variety of subjects. This is easy when hiding behind a keyboard and in the luxury of their home. We express ourselves like experts, but in reality, we have limited experience and make poor judges.
This is what was happening in Rome almost 2,000 years ago. Not much has changed. People are people. Right?
So what was going on? Judgment. Is this happening in our lifetime? Do I need to answer? Have you checked your Twitter stream today?
Judgment is paramount in our day.
The Bible says:
Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God can make him stand. (Romans 14:4, NKJV)
The context is about disputable matters and how believers view the scripture. Disputes are a hot item on social media and in the church.
Disputable matters are genuine and that will “not change.”
Does this problem exist in the modern church? Yes. Today’s disputable matters include abortion, alcohol, dancing, modesty, same-sex marriage, gay priests, racial reconciliation, politics.
The disputable matters in Rome were two: food (v. 2) and observing of sacred days on the calendar (v. 5). Paul’s answer is to stop judging one another — Who are you to judge someone else’s servant?
Paul’s solution is for believers to mind their own business. The outcome is straight to the point. If we focus on the answer, this would be easy. But we focus on our opinion, and our experiences are different.
There are gray areas in our Christian experience. The scripture does not give us every answer to every problem. That is why God gave us His Spirit.
The Spirit knows all things and not the Bible. We are to rely upon the Holy Spirit as a witness to our soul. The scripture is the validation and the standard of what we hear and do.
Gray areas are real.
The strongest among us are the humble and the teachable.
Some things in the scripture are clear and others unclear. There are, however, issues which seem “wrong” to some, and “right” to others. So true.
The writer of Romans was clear — Nothing (that is not identified in Scripture as sin) is unclean or wrong. Therefore, if it is unclear, let your decision about the matter be yours and do not judge others.
Believers are not to judge one another. That is clear. So we are to walk in the clarity we have and not try to prove our opinion is best.
Love your fellow believer
The care and love of your brother and sister must be higher than judging them over matters that are disputable. Division over “gray areas” are not worth the drama they produce.
Where sin is clear in a believer’s life we have explicit instruction on how to approach them. Judgment is questionable when our own opinion is prominent. When we judge ourselves more spiritual than others, we have missed the point. If we judge others, to be less spiritual than us it misguides us.
We must remember, God is the judge.
Read it again:
Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. He will be made to stand, for God can make him stand. (Romans 14:4, NKJV)
Servants stand approved by their own master, and not the judgment of others. It is not up to us to judge anyone. That prerogative is their own master. And the ultimate master is God the Father.
Here are a few added scriptures:
“Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.” (Romans 14:3, NKJV)
- Do not despise
- Do not judge
- God has accepted them
“We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves” (Romans 15:1, NKJV).
“Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God” (Romans 14:22, NKJV).
“Make every effort to do what leads to peace and mutual edification” (Romans 14:19, NKJV).
We are a body. We error on the side of accepting and loving one another, not rejecting one another.
We grow the Kingdom through acceptance, love, and accountability.
Mercy triumphs over judgment.