Focal Passage: Romans 14:1, 10-13, 19-21; 15:1-6
When John, Marcus and I were home on what was then called “furlough” from serving in Africa, we went to visit a friend of ours. She was a retired missionary, and we had a meal with her and her 90-year-old aunt. The aunt watched as I ate and kept shaking her head, until finally, she asked me, “What are you doing?”
I’ll explain now what I was doing. With certain food combinations, I prefer to eat all of one type of food before starting on another. For example, if I were eating hamburger, potatoes, peas, and rolls, I would eat all of the peas, then the potatoes, then the roll, and finally the hamburger, not necessarily in that order, but finishing one thing before starting on the next.
I didn’t even realize that I was doing this, but the aunt did. I explained my preference for finishing some foods entirely before starting the next, and she became very angry.
“That’s so stupid!” she kept saying. “You’re supposed to mix your foods. It is very stupid to eat all of one thing before you start the next. You are really stupid!”
I was surprised, and my friend was embarrassed, but she chuckled as if to say, “Well, that’s just our Aunt, and please remember that she is in her 90’s.”
Even if you agree with the aunt’s way of eating, and disagree with mine, I hope that you see that my intelligence is not based on the way I eat some combinations of food. And yet, some disagreements that happen in our churches are just as silly.
When you consider our Lord, and what needs to be done to lift Him high in our world, some things we become so upset over become almost non-existent in importance. When we focus on Christ, ask Him to help us love with His love, and look at others in that light, we see that many disagreements have come about because we want our own way, instead of Jesus’ way.
If you have an incident where you think that what another person does is “stupid,” ask Jesus to help you see that person the way He does, and see if your differences can still be seen in the light of His love.