14
Do Not Criticize Other People
1Accept into your group someone who is weak in faith, and do not argue about opinions. 2One person believes it is right to eat all kinds of food. But another, who is weak, believes it is right to eat only vegetables. 3The one who knows that it is right to eat any kind of food must not reject the one who eats only vegetables. And the person who eats only vegetables must not think that the one who eats all foods is wrong, because God has accepted that person. 4You cannot judge another person’s servant. The master decides if the servant is doing well or not. And the Lord’s servant will do well because the Lord helps him do well.
5Some think that one day is more important than another, and others think that every day is the same. Let all be sure in their own mind. 6Those who think one day is more important than other days are doing that for the Lord. And those who eat all kinds of food are doing that for the Lord, and they give thanks to God. Others who refuse to eat some foods do that for the Lord, and they give thanks to God. 7We do not live or die for ourselves. 8If we live, we are living for the Lord, and if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord.
9The reason Christ died and rose from the dead to live again was so he would be Lord over both the dead and the living. 10So why do you judge your brothers or sisters in Christ? And why do you think you are better than they are? We will all stand before God to be judged, 11because it is written in the Scriptures:
“ ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘Everyone will bow before me;
everyone will say that I am God.’ ”#Isaiah 45:23
12So each of us will have to answer to God.
Do Not Cause Others to Sin
13For that reason we should stop judging each other. We must make up our minds not to do anything that will make another Christian sin. 14I am in the Lord Jesus, and I know that there is no food that is wrong to eat. But if a person believes something is wrong, that thing is wrong for him. 15If you hurt your brother’s or sister’s faith because of something you eat, you are not really following the way of love. Do not destroy someone’s faith by eating food he thinks is wrong, because Christ died for him. 16Do not allow what you think is good to become what others say is evil. 17In 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. 18Anyone who serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God and will be accepted by other people.
19So let us try to do what makes peace and helps one another. 20Do not let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All foods are all right to eat, but it is wrong to eat food that causes someone else to sin. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that will cause your brother or sister to sin.
22Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between you and God. People are happy if they can do what they think is right without feeling guilty. 23But those who eat something without being sure it is right are wrong because they did not believe it was right. Anything that is done without believing it is right is a sin.
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The Holy Bible, New Century Version, Copyright © 2005 Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.