“For that reason, we should stop judging each other. We must make up our minds not to do anything that will make another Christian sin…Do not allow what you think is good to become what others say is evil. In the kingdom of God, eating and drinking are not important. The important things are living right with God, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Anyone who serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God and will be accepted by other people…So let us try to do what makes peace and helps one another…Your beliefs about these things should be kept a secret between you and God.” (Romans 14:13-22)
The other day I was reading and want to know what I can write from this passage of Scripture. My prayer was very simple and after much thoughts, I started to type a few notes hoping it takes me somewhere to be a blessing to those that will read it. God in His wisdom opened my understanding and reveal the His truth.
“Others, Lord, yes others
Let this my motto be
Help me to live for others
That I may live for Thee.”
Then I went even further by telling God I really meant this and that I want Him to teach me how not to be so selfish with things that are important to me, such as “my time”, but to teach me how to love like He loves. I should’ve known this is the sort of prayer that should have attached to it “Warning! You are now entering dangerous territory!” So it started, of course. It seems like all I come across when I read is “Love, Emma. Forgive as you are being forgiven. Don’t judge, My girl, perhaps they don’t do it with a mean heart. Perhaps they just don’t understand.”
It is so easy to sin. Second nature. I don’t even have to think about it, it just comes out of me. None of those who truly met God want to sin (by sin I understand what the Bible classes as sin). No matter how “close” or “far away” we are, there is this deep desire planted in us to live for Him as He asks. The Patriarch has this thing he keeps saying “Son, cover your brother’s nakedness” (Genesis 9:20-27) If I know someone provoked and attacked in what he believes, that’s The Patriarch. You can’t help it when you stand for Israel like he does, it comes with the territory. But no matter how upset or exasperated he becomes, I hear him “Cover your brother’s nakedness” Meaning, if I know a brother or a sister of mine is struggling in a certain area, I don’t go and poke exactly in that area only to get a reaction. Or, if I have a conversation with someone and I see they really struggle with something that I say, out of love for them, I should stop. Why bring out the worst in them only to get my point across? They try just as much as I do to keep themselves for the Lord and want just as much as I do to walk in love, so why put a stumbling block in front of them only to make them fall and be judged by people that are already watching them thoroughly from the minute they said “I believe”?
“Cover your brother’s nakedness” Don’t provoke for the sake of sounding wiser or more “spiritual”. A clear example from my life. Many Christians I come in contact with either don’t understand Israel and God’s relationship with them or they completely misjudge them because of what they’ve heard being preached. So why go somewhere and say something about Israel only to aggravate my brothers and make them sin by getting angry, judging me, and speaking against something they might not even understand.
Don’t get me wrong, the opposite applies. If you pick on Israel only for the sake of sounding wise yourself, if you present me with the last piece of manipulated BBC or FOX news or one of our Caribbean nation news Channel, and then speak things that are completely against God’s Word, I won’t be quiet. I might ask you a few questions:-) But I won’t start conversations that I know will lead to someone getting angry and upset only to show how many things I know on the topic. If someone is interested, they can come and ask me and maybe we can have a nice conversation. But if someone comes only interested in provoking, I learned to smell them from a mile and to be quite frank, Israel is too precious to me to drag it in polemics only to satisfy someone’s ego (mine included).
This is just an example, but the principle in itself can be applied to everything in life. Don’t cause someone to sin or fall only to show yourself wiser or better. “Cover your brother’s nakedness”
Thank you, Patriarch. You told me this so many times and I failed to see it. I know this is a lesson we are both still learning because it is hard not to react when someone attacks something that’s precious to you. But I’ve seen you so many times controlling yourself based on this principle and with God’s help, I think I get it now. Thank you.
Sir Godfrey Gregg OPHM, ROMC