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Romans 14:4: Who Are You To Pass Judgment on The Servant Of Another?

Romans 14:4
[4] Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (ESV)

We love to criticize others who believe differently than we do. We can be so convinced of our own thinking that we quickly begin to despise anyone who disagrees. I can remember a professor at the Bible College I attended who said, "God is bigger than our bad theology." That was sound advice then and continues to be sound advice now.

When we pass judgment on one who is a servant of Jesus Christ we do wrong. We are acting as if it is our judgment of things that matters. It is not. The only judgment that matters is God's judgment. Supposing that a person chooses to not eat meat because they are uncomfortable with the association of the meat with idol worship. God's viewpoint of their action is what is important.

The two areas that tend to drive our opinions are areas in which we have a personal preference or a religious tradition. Let's consider the first of those. Let's take it out of the food category. Some Christians prefer traditional worship with an organ and a choir. Others like a praise band. You can prefer one over the other without judging one who does not agree with your preference.

How about religious tradition. A tradition is just something that we have done for so long that we cannot imagine doing something any other way. Repetition does not make something right. It just makes it monotonous. Again, there are those who have a different tradition. Neither one is right. The are just different. God's opinion is what counts. He is looking for a servant's heart.

In what ways have personal preference and religious tradition affected how you view others in the body of Christ? Have you been guilty of passing judgment on people wrongly? Ask the Lord to help you to love people who hold different viewpoints than you.