Whoever serves Christ in this way pleases God and gets human approval.
So let’s strive for the things that bring peace
and the things that build each other up. (Romans 14:18-19)
Romans 14 addresses a conflict. At Rome, some in the fellowship consumed meat sacrificed to idols. While some found no problem with this (“Idols do not exist! Why let the meat go to spoil?”), others took issue, thinking this was not proper for those in Christ. Disagreement ensued, and division followed. But Paul tells Christ’s people at Rome to walk in love, to refrain from judging one another, and to live in “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.” According to Paul, all those in the Roman fellowship should act in accordance with their convictions concerning this matter.
As too many Christians can testify, fractures occur in our churches. Disagreements arise, and division comes shortly after. Some disagreements are healthy and are of critical importance. But others only concern trivial matters, questions of conscience without clear mandate from Scripture. In such matters, we should refrain from judgment, work for peace, and build one another up. In this way, we serve Christ by serving one another. Working through conflict in a loving and Christ-like way is a powerful testimony to the truth of the gospel.
Peacemaking “pleases God” and gains “human approval.” Let us therefore serve God and neighbor by conducting our disagreements in love.
Lord Jesus, give me the grace to serve others as a peacemaker. Amen.