(Romans 14:13) “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this–not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”
Judging means condemning. The Apostle Paul is telling us here not to be legalistic and self-righteous, he is advising us not to regard one another with contempt or even to consider each other worthless.
He is rather inviting us, in a more positive way, to use our best judgment and make a careful decision by helping other believers in their struggles when needs be.
Believers are not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way, whether it’s food or drinks or even observing one day over another, etc, even if Scripture may permit it. If what a mature believer does may cause a weak believer to fall into sin, the Apostle Paul, filled by the Holy Spirit, tells us not to do it, because whether strong or weak, we thank the Lord in all we do, therefore the motive is the same and that is to please our sovereign Lord and never ourselves.
All believers are different yet our diversity shows the power of the Lord to bring us together, His church, in genuine unity. We are to remain strong in Christ and not let Satan work on our weakness to create division and threaten that unity.
In this chapter, the Apostle Paul addresses his comments to the strong believers, whether Jews or Gentiles, advising them not to cause conflict with the immature believers, and that is because the mature believers understand their freedom in Christ and know that the ceremonial law of the Old Covenant is no longer required, they also know not to worship idols any longer, when these struggles are not yet that obvious to the new believers.
As the body of Christ, we are to accept one another. The mature one among us should not sit in judgment on the sincere but underdeveloped thoughts that affect the weak believer’s conduct.
What truly matters is how Christ evaluates each one of us, and that will not be based on our religious tradition nor on our personal preference.
Let everything we do be from faith because whatever is not from faith is sin.
“The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” (Romans 14:22)
The Lord bless you and keep you,