14 Give a warm welcome to any brother who wants to join you, even though his faith is weak. Don’t criticize him for having different ideas from yours about what is right and wrong.[a] 2 For instance, don’t argue with him about whether or not to eat meat that has been offered to idols. You may believe there is no harm in this, but the faith of others is weaker; they think it is wrong and will go without any meat at all and eat vegetables rather than eat that kind of meat. 3 Those who think it is all right to eat such meat must not look down on those who won’t. And if you are one of those who won’t, don’t find fault with those who do. For God has accepted them to be his children. 4 They are God’s servants, not yours. They are responsible to him, not to you. Let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. And God is able to make them do as they should.
5 Some think that Christians should observe the Jewish holidays as special days to worship God, but others say it is wrong and foolish to go to all that trouble, for every day alike belongs to God. On questions of this kind everyone must decide for himself. 6 If you have special days for worshiping the Lord, you are trying to honor him; you are doing a good thing. So is the person who eats meat that has been offered to idols; he is thankful to the Lord for it; he is doing right. And the person who won’t touch such meat, he, too, is anxious to please the Lord, and is thankful. 7 We are not our own bosses to live or die as we ourselves might choose. 8 Living or dying we follow the Lord. Either way we are his. 9 Christ died and rose again for this very purpose, so that he can be our Lord both while we live and when we die.
10 You have no right to criticize your brother or look down on him. Remember, each of us will stand personally before the Judgment Seat of God. 11 For it is written, “As I live,” says the Lord, “every knee shall bow to me and every tongue confess to God.” 12 Yes, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
13 So don’t criticize each other anymore. Try instead to live in such a way that you will never make your brother stumble by letting him see you doing something he thinks is wrong.
14 As for myself, I am perfectly sure on the authority of the Lord Jesus that there is nothing really wrong with eating meat that has been offered to idols. But if someone believes it is wrong, then he shouldn’t do it because for him it is wrong. 15 And if your brother is bothered by what you eat, you are not acting in love if you go ahead and eat it. Don’t let your eating ruin someone for whom Christ died. 16 Don’t do anything that will cause criticism against yourself even though you know that what you do is right.
17 For, after all, the important thing for us as Christians is not what we eat or drink but stirring up goodness and peace and joy from the Holy Spirit. 18 If you let Christ be Lord in these affairs, God will be glad; and so will others. 19 In this way aim for harmony in the church, and try to build each other up.
20 Don’t undo the work of God for a chunk of meat. Remember, there is nothing wrong with the meat, but it is wrong to eat it if it makes another stumble. 21 The right thing to do is to quit eating meat or drinking wine or doing anything else that offends your brother or makes him sin. 22 You may know that there is nothing wrong with what you do, even from God’s point of view, but keep it to yourself; don’t flaunt your faith in front of others who might be hurt by it. In this situation, happy is the man who does not sin by doing what he knows is right. 23 But anyone who believes that something he wants to do is wrong shouldn’t do it. He sins if he does, for he thinks it is wrong, and so for him it is wrong. Anything that is done apart from what he feels is right is sin.
- Romans 14:1 Don’t criticize him . . . about what is right and wrong, literally, “Receive him that is weak in faith, not for decisions of scruples.” Perhaps the meaning is “Receive those whose consciences hurt them when they do things others have no doubts about.” Accepting them might cause discord in the church, but Paul says to welcome them anyway.
The Living Bible copyright © 1971 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.