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The Weak and the Strong

14 Accept the person whose faith is weak. Don’t argue with them where you have differences of opinion. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything. But another person eats only vegetables because their faith is weak. The person who eats everything must not look down on the one who does not. And the one who doesn’t eat everything must not judge the person who does. That’s because God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? Whether they are faithful or not is their own master’s concern. And they will be faithful, because the Lord has the power to make them faithful.

One person considers one day to be more holy than another. Another person thinks all days are the same. Each of them should be absolutely sure in their own mind. Whoever thinks that one day is special does so to honor the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to honor the Lord. They give thanks to God. And whoever doesn’t eat meat does so to honor the Lord. They also give thanks to God. We don’t live for ourselves only. And we don’t die for ourselves only. If we live, we live to honor the Lord. If we die, we die to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Christ died and came back to life. He did this to become the Lord of both the dead and the living.

10 Now then, who are you to judge your brother or sister? Why do you act like you’re better than they are? We will all stand in God’s courtroom to be judged. 11 It is written,

“ ‘You can be sure that I live,’ says the Lord.
‘And you can be just as sure that everyone will kneel down in front of me.
    Every tongue will have to tell the truth about God.’ ” (Isaiah 45:23)

12 So we will all have to explain to God the things we have done.

13 Let us stop judging one another. Instead, decide not to put anything in the way of a brother or sister. Don’t put anything in their way that would make them trip and fall. 14 I am absolutely sure that nothing is “unclean” in itself. The Lord Jesus has convinced me of this. But someone may consider a thing to be “unclean.” If they do, it is “unclean” for them. 15 Your brother or sister may be upset by what you eat. If they are, you are no longer acting as though you love them. So don’t destroy them by what you eat. Remember that Christ died for them. 16 So suppose you know something is good. Then don’t let it be spoken of as if it were evil. 17 God’s kingdom is not about eating or drinking. It is about doing what is right and having peace and joy. All this comes through the Holy Spirit. 18 Those who serve Christ in this way are pleasing to God. They are pleasing to people too.

19 So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build up one another. 20 Don’t destroy the work of God because of food. All food is “clean.” But it’s wrong to eat anything that might cause problems for someone else’s faith. 21 Don’t eat meat if it causes your brother or sister to sin. Don’t drink wine or do anything else that will make them sin.

22 Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the person who doesn’t feel guilty for what they do. 23 But whoever has doubts about what they eat is guilty if they eat. That’s because their eating is not based on faith. Everything that is not based on faith is sin.

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