Pursue What Makes for Peace

Romans 14:13-5:2

“Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of another. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. If your brother or sister is being injured by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. Do not let what you eat cause the ruin of one for whom Christ died. So do not let your good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. The one who thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and has human approval. Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat; it is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that makes your brother or sister stumble. The faith that you have, have as your own conviction before God. Blessed are those who have no reason to condemn themselves because of what they approve. But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because they do not act from faith; for whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor.” NRSV

These are the verses from Romans that follow the reading for this past Sunday. The stumbling block” was the Jewish dietary laws and whether or not the Gentile Christians must abide by them. (The Gentiles (then and now) refused to give up their bacon!) Paul’s response? “Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.”

The more general point Paul is making is that, do not, for the sake of anything, destroy the work of God! And what is the work of God? Everything and everyone you see.

“Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding,” writes Paul. (And share our bacon with our neighbors or, in our case, our sausage gravy).

Be a blessing to someone today!

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