It’s been so long since I’ve written a faith centered post… (here’s the last one) and I have felt the Holy Spirit tugging at my heart this last month.
I find it ironic that I am the first person to build people up and tell them they can do anything, yet I find myself crippled by sharing anything lately. Not because I have fear or self-consciousness, I mostly have suffered a writer’s block of sorts. I have been so dedicated to reading my Bible this year, despite getting a late start after taking months off. #truth
In the last couple of months I’ve dedicated myself to waking up at 6:30am so I can get in God’s word. I’ve made it from mid-Exodus to now entering Job in a few short months. I am a girl on fire! Yet, still didn’t feel inspired to write.
Then something big hit me this week. The Holy Spirit
moved shook me deep in my soul. And it was in such a battleground environment that my epiphany struck.
Something you should know about me is I live off Facebook groups. I’m that girl. While I am not on my friend’s feeds often, I do make a beeline strait to mom groups, fashion groups and similar to gain insight and build relationships.
So, while in a particular local moms group I saw a post about abortion, but you should know this blog post is not about that. A woman shared that a guy she was dating had different views than her and he broke it off. The comments went on and on.
So many amazing women shared something I don’t believe we do well enough in the Church: we all sin, we all fall short of God’s grace, and He loves us anyway. There was one particular post that struck me.
First, a quick background…
Even though I grew up in the church, I didn’t retain a lot of what I was taught. I quickly left the church when I was 18 and remained a non-believer until 2011. My parents are Seventh-Day Adventist and we attended church on Saturdays growing up.
When I found my way back to Christ, I found myself at a non-denominational church and attended on Sundays. This was a choice my boyfriend (now hubby) decided together. But, in the back of my mind, I always felt guilt about not going to church on Saturdays.
Earlier this year I attended a women’s conference at our former church about rest. God’s command that we must rest – we need it and it is His gift to us. Hard, right?! So I battled with this idea of rest on Saturday and church on Sunday. But, we thrive on having a fun (and exhausting) family day on Saturdays, so the guilt still plagued me.
Okay, so back to that Facebook mom’s group post!
A lady shared Romans 14. I had never read it, as I mentioned I am just in Job and haven’t made it to the New Testament yet (although I’ve read pieces here-and-there).
Here are the highlights in my favorite translation:
14 Accept anyone who is weak in faith, but don’t argue about disputed matters… 4 Who are you to judge another’s household servant? Before his own Lord he stands or falls. And he will stand, because the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person judges one day to be more important than another day. Someone else judges every day to be the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 Whoever observes the day, observes it for the honor of the Lord. Whoever eats, eats for the Lord, since he gives thanks to God; and whoever does not eat, it is for the Lord that he does not eat it, and he gives thanks to God…But you, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written,
As I live, says the Lord,
every knee will bow to me,
and every tongue will give praise to God.
…13 Therefore, let us no longer judge one another. Instead decide never to put a stumbling block or pitfall in the way of your brother or sister. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. Still, to someone who considers a thing to be unclean, to that one it is unclean. 15 For if your brother or sister is hurt by what you eat, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy, by what you eat, someone for whom Christ died…19 So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another…22 Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever doubts stands condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith, and everything that is not from faith is sin.
There is so much in this chapter that I could share – it truly convicted me and blessed me abundantly. But, in light of the guilt I’ve faced for sometime, Romans 14 released my chains. All the guilt left me and now I know I can celebrate any day as God’s Sabbath.
It also opened my eyes to judgement – I know how much of a sin it is, but didn’t really think about it in a small sense. I always give my parents a hard time for not eating pork. But that is their conviction! I have been sinning against them and God by dishonoring their faith.
I share this with you because I know there are many people that feel guilt (or judgement) about one-thing-or-another. I want you to pray. Look deep into your heart, ask the Lord and then decide if it is something that makes you stumble (or anyone else) or if the guilt comes from your own conscious.
Praise God for his unfailing love and grace. I pray this can help someone else that has faced a similar issue. And if I may pray for you, please feel free to contact me – it would be an honor to do so!
2 thoughts on “How to overcome guilt or judgement by spending time in Romans 14”
Very thoughtful post. One of my favorite verses, actually.
Thank you, Jane! I appreciate your comment.