I went to Walmart to pick up a prescription on Friday, yes, Black Friday. I waited until about 6:30pm, when I thought the serious shoppers had probably tired out and gone home. They had, for the most part, but I ran into several people I knew. I wasn’t sure whether to say “Happy Thanksgiving” or “Merry Christmas.” The radio stations in our area have started playing Christmas music, so I guess it’s that time!
Romans 14:11 NKJV states, “For it is written: ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’” Interestingly, it is in Romans 14 that Paul advocates that we not argue over disputable matters (Romans 14:1). He gives examples of how differing beliefs can cause strife. He speaks of how one person may eat meat, but another eats only vegetables. He says neither is to treat the other with contempt (Romans 14:2-3). He gives the example of how one person may think of a particular day as sacred, but another may disagree. He says, in Romans 14:6, ”Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord.”
Paul says, in Romans 14:13-14 “Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister. I am convinced, being fully persuaded in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for that person it is unclean.”
As this Christmas season begins let us be mindful of all of the disputable matters we may have with our neighbors, friends, and loved ones. One that comes to mind is that of how we choose to celebrate Christmas. You may celebrate with a nativity scene in your front yard, while your neighbor has Santa and eight reindeer on his roof. The cards you send out may say, “Jesus is the reason for the season,” but some of the cards you receive may say “Happy Holidays.” My advice is that you cherish and display all that you receive. They were sent to you in the Spirit of the season. These are disputable matters. We should not allow these types of differences of opinion to interfere with our love for one another. Paul tells us in Romans 14:22, “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.”
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Copyright 2018 by Author, Kimberly Griffith Anderson
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If you like this style of writing, you will enjoy Turn North: A 30-Day Devotional and Journal written by the author of this blog.