The most wonderful thing about the Alpha and Omega God of the Universe is that He is never shocked or taken by surprise. Sadly, we do not always share God’s ability to know and see all. So, when we live our lives, we have to live them selflessly. The tag line from Purpose Driven Life rings loudly in my ears, “It’s not about You!” God is quote flexible when it comes to what he considers acceptable and what he does not consider acceptable.
Take Daniel, as an example. There were a host of captive young people in Babylon. They were being fed “The Good Stuff”. Daniel felt that God had been clear about dietary restrictions. Daniel risked his life to stay pure by eating fruit and vegetables and drinking water. God honored his holiness and made Daniel themost healthy man among the captives and also made Daniel the longest standing administrator in Babylon. He led through different kings and even different empires.
The humorous part is, that God also blessed Jesus, His Son, that ate well with tax collectors and sinners and made the best wine in the Land. The point is this, God is concerned 1st and foremost with the attitudes of our hearts. We need to live earnestly and humbly following God’s lead in all areas of our lives. If like Daniel, one feels they must live a strict code and diet then, for them it is the right call. Even if we think it silly or wrong, that is something between that person and the Lord. I can assure you that all Daniel’s fellow captives thought He was crazy…that is until He was Nebuchadnezzar’s Chief Administrator.
Paul reminds us that we need to worry only about what our heart and attitude regarding faith looks like. Whether we are talking specks vs Logs in our eye, or that Jesus IS Lord of the Sabbath; the key issue is one of the heart. As we do life together, we need to adopt Paul’s command to the Thessalonians, “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as you have been doing” I Thessalonians 5:11.
So, if your dietary or social abstinence or liberality causes a fellow believer to have an issue regarding their faith, your selflessness should cause you to neither highlight the difference nor judge the other for their difference. That means you may have to “Take one for the team” and sacrifice your desires for the sake of another’s growth in God.
One also needs to remember that in our crazy and chaotic culture, the issues can run the gambit from food, to drink, to make-up and dress, entertainment and language. As a believer, in love, err on the side of conservatism, but also do not judge others nor shut them out simply because you may not agree.
God Bless You
10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister[a]? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:
“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”[b]
12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.
13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. 14 I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean. 15 If your brother or sister is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy someone for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval.
19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. 21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.
22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.[c]