Blog-August 4th, 2015

What to Know About the Double Portion of Joy When We Don’t Seek to Disqualify One Another

Romans 14:5-9 says: One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

I believe the church works so well when we come together for the cause of Christ. I have seen people accomplish great things when they believe that Christ is a part of what they are doing and they are focused on exalting His name and giving Him the glory. Vacation Bible School, serving at a homeless shelter, praying before a sporting event for the world to see, building a house for someone who can’t do it themselves, and on and on and on are the examples of the Christ being glorified when the church works with one accord.

Romans 14 tells of how heart-wrenching it is when people do not respect one another and believe that what they do is better and more God-pleasing. And it’s doubly disturbing when we try to silence or disqualify one another based on their spiritual walk that doesn’t seem to measure up to ours. We have enough trouble in our world with people disqualifying themselves by their own behavior, why should we try to do it to our fellow Christians?

People get disqualified from all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons. Tom Brady is living the definition of disqualification at this moment. The Ohio State Football team has been reminded that you don’t necessarily have to have a bad credit score to be disqualified. If you’ve ever cheated at something, like dreidle, you’ve probably wondered if they’ll find out and you’ll be kicked out of further competition.

Don’t be that Christian. Some people believe that Reformation Day is the greatest day of the year. Others believe Pentecost Sunday is deserving of double honor. Some believe you should only celebrate Easter and Christmas beyond the regular Sunday worship times. Some people get very offended if you don’t hold the same esteem for the things that they do. They feel it is disrespectful to God to not think exactly as they do.

What if we believed that we were all trying to honor the Lord and not do the wrong thing? What if we believed that we were trying to reach out to people by how we worship and honor Jesus Christ? What if we believed it was all ok? What if we believed it was ok to have a differing opinion on Transfiguration Sunday or The Feast of St. Michael? What if it were ok that I serve in this way and you serve in that way? The name of Christ is exalted doubly when we trust that the other person isn’t sinning by not exalting the Lord in exactly the same way we do. Faith, love, hope, and charity are accomplished and God is glorified.

So, let the world disqualify itself; don’t let the rush to judgment destroy the faith of your brother or sister in Christ. We all belong to the Lord, and that should be what matters. Amen.