1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despisehim that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Rom. 14:1-3
Those are powerful words:
“… for God hath received him.”
We all have a lens through which we view things in life, and each one sees differently. But no one sees perfectly; only God does.
One of the easiest things for us to do as believers is to think that we alone are called. And if we are able to extend a little more grace, we add to that small list of I, me and myself others who have the same beliefs as we. That is why there are all these small groupings calling themselves “family”, or “church” all over the world who think that somehow they are different from other believers. In their minds they think they are the ones with the particular brand of faith that is acceptable with God.
But this kind of thinking is simply a testimony of our narrow-mindedness. And we are going nowhere with God when we carry such narrow-hearted attitudes. God is big-hearted, and He accepts everyone who comes to Him. The Bible says in Romans 10:12-13:
“12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Once we come to the Lord, all our differences are cast aside. Once we come to the Lord, we have only one common denominator: we are all products of the mercy of God. God has children – of different levels of faith – all over the world. Notice that God does not differentiate between His children. All are His children, and there are no levels of faith with Him. That talks of the power of the grace that God has. As long as we are serving God, at whatever level of faith we are, God accepts us!!
One of the gravest mistakes, therefore, that we can make with God is to think that somehow we are special on account of anything we might be or that we might be doing on God’s behalf.
Surprisingly, even we do not differentiate between our children whom we have borne in the flesh; but when we become children of God, all of a sudden we think we are special, and we want to act special and to be treated special. All this is on account of the flesh. The flesh thinks in terms of I, me and myself; and this means we are still spiritual babes.
But, even though God would want to see each one of His children exercising great and perfect faith, yet what truly matters with God is the way we carry along with the little or big faith that we have. In Romans 14:10-12 we read,
“10 … for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ… So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.”
One day we will give an account to Christ of how we carried on our lives here on earth with our faith, and that is all that really matters.
But the Bible goes beyond merely encouraging us to accept one another. It presses us to go the extra mile and do something for those whom we deem are not as strong in faith as we are. In Romans 15:1-3, the Bible exhorts us,
“1 We then that are strong ought to bear with the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. 3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.”
“Christ pleased not himself”.
In other words, Christ could have pleased himself. He could have been thinking of Himself. According to the full and perfect faith that He had, Christ could have considered Himself the genuine, bona fide Son of God (which He was), with all rights attached. But He chose to please others instead, for their spiritual good. For this cause, He upended things and chose to sit at the very bottom where every one of our sins fell on Him.
That is not an easy thing to do. But Jesus had the grace of God without measure (Jn. 3:34).
May God’s grace be abundantly upon us to mature us to the extent where we can carry hearts of mercy and compassion towards other believers who are different from us, and where, rather than judging, we will desire to contribute towards them knowing Christ and living the Christian life better.