Everyone is Judgmental | Romans 14

Welcome to Real Life. Am I a judgmental Christian?

“If someone isn't what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.”  ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Everyone is judgmental. We all make judgments, every day, on what we believe to be right and wrong. Being judgmental is not always bad. There are many things we should make judgments on. The Bible is clear, white and black, on thousands of issues. However, we face millions of choices over a lifetime. Many are disputable as to whether they are right or wrong.

Disputable: not established as fact, and so open to question or debate.

In Romans 14, Paul cites food, drink, and the observance of sacred days as disputable matters. But, before I discuss disputable, what is indisputable?

For a Christian, an excellent baseline of indisputable truth is the Nicene Creed (325/382 A.D.). In fact, it was drafted by the early church to clarify the indisputable truths of our faith. Many churches (mine included) still recite it regularly. (You’ll find the Creed at the close of this post.)

Now, back to disputable… The problem lies in my tendency to believe that my choices are best, brightest, and right-est. Actually, my choices may be best for me, but not for you.

Right here is where a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ is critical. Paul says that each of us should obey God on these disputable matters. To my own Lord, I will stand or fall. For, I will stand alone before God's judgment seat one day and give an account for the choices I've made (v. 10). What is not done in faith is sin. Here's an example:

As a Christian, my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. As such, I am to honor God in the way I care for it.[1] If my cholesterol is sky high and I eat a hefty piece of cheesecake every day, even though I know God (and my doctor) disapprove, I sin when I eat it. It may not be sinful for you to eat cheesecake daily, but it would be for me.

Here’s the trouble. If we go to lunch together and you order cheesecake, it’s human nature for me to think, “Ohhhh, look at that naughty girl. She’s sinning by eating cheesecake?” Because, hey, if it's wrong for me, it's wrong for you. Right? Wrong. In that moment, I'm being wrongly judgmental.

Regarding disputable matters, Paul says, “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.”[2] Stop nitpicking over what she/he is doing. And, if you know I'm trying not to eat cheesecake, don't suggest we meet at Cheesecake Factory for lunch.

Is it really that critical whether or not I eat cheesecake? No. “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”[4]  Let’s stop arguing and judging each other over temporal, disputable matters. Instead, let's focus on the eternal: Does my lifestyle reflect the righteousness of Christ? Is my soul at peace with God? Am I a peacemaker (or a trouble-maker)? Does my heart overflow with joy?

Lord Jesus, you were wrongfully judged because you were a “friend of sinners.” 
I am too quick to judge others, too slow to judge myself.
Help me focus on what's most important: 
righteousness, peace, and joy in your Holy Spirit!
I love you, Lord. Amen.

Are you a judgmental Christian?

Taking it further:

1)  The Nicene Creed
  • We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. 
  • And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (├Žons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
  • He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father; from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead.
  • We believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.
  • We believe in one holy catholic[5] and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
2)  An excellent platform for discussing disputable issues in the church is the Moody Radio program Up For Debate

[1] 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
[2] Romans 14:13

[3] Romans 14:10
[4] Romans 14: 17
[5] The meaning of catholic here is universal. Note that it is lowercase. It refers to the worldwide Christian church as a whole, not any denomination in particular. It does not refer to the Catholic Church (proper noun). However, every Christian denomination traces its roots to the early Catholic Church.


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