Thursday, April 13, 2023
I know and am convinced on the authority of the Lord Jesus that no food, in and of itself, is wrong to eat. But if someone believes it is wrong, then for that person it is wrong. And if another believer is distressed by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. Then you will not be criticized for doing something you believe is good. For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too. So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
As I learn to speak and react to people in their best interest and not my own, I can't think of a more powerful principle than the one at the heart of our verses on relationships today:
And if another believer is distressed by what [I do, I am] not acting in love if [I do] it.
While I am free in Christ, I will not assert my freedom to the detriment of others.  Each person I influence is someone for whom Jesus died to save. I must not ignore the Lord's example of giving up His rights and giving His life as a servant to others.  My goal in each of my relationships, especially those relationships I have with other believers, must be about building each of them according to their needs.  My goal as a disciple of Jesus is not to validate my rights but to live redemptively before those who do not believe and in harmony, graciousness, and respect with other believers.
O, Father, I need the Holy Spirit's power at work within me to remember how precious the people around me are to You. Open my heart to follow the example of Jesus and choose to live in their best interest and not my own. I ask this to honor Jesus, my Lord, and in the power of His name. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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