Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Romans 14 -- Careful Now

As I have noted before there are many who seem to enjoy deciding who is in and who is out when it comes to the righteousness of God. It is almost as if people are going around just looking for a reason to condemn someone. If that is the case, the chances of success are very high. As humanity we struggle greatly with this perfection thing, like we cannot seem to accomplish it.

In our struggle to accomplish perfection it seems natural to compare ourselves with those around us. When we find someone who acts in a way that appears to be less far in the journey than us, we like to highlight their lack of progress and emphasize our progress. In Romans 14 Paul warns against looking down on someone because of their place in the journey. Each person is going to have actions and thoughts in their life that might be unacceptable to others. The real challenge is found when we think someone is not as far along as we are. It is not that others are unacceptable, only they can be viewed as inferior.

Great care must be taken when we start the comparison game. A good rule of thumb is to compare ourselves by only two standards. First, what is it God is calling us to. Second, what is the progression on my own journey. Note, neither of these comparisons involve measuring against another person. The real measure of our faith is where we stand with God, and are we showing progression in our journey. We must be careful to not overstep our bounds and sit in the role of management. None of us is in the role of management in the Kingdom of God, we are all in the laborer part of the Kingdom.

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