Focal passage: Romans 14:1-12
Imagine my mother’s surprise when the grocery store cashier told her that she could not buy a pizza cutter! Mom was a bit confused until the cashier explained it was Sunday, and the blue laws in North Carolina at the time prohibited the sale of anything that might be considered a tool.
Mom could buy the pizza to feed us, just not the tool to cut it!
Some of you will remember the days of the blue laws. Similarly, in our church congregations, someone may question working on Sunday.
Paul’s address of Christian liberty in Romans 14 focuses the reader on encouragement and acceptance of other believers in matters of practice. Specifically, he encourages us to stop judging (verses 1-4), honor God (verses 5-8) and remove obstacles (verses 9-12).
Paul exhorts believers to show charity in matters of practice (this is different than doctrine), to instead focus on how they can honor God in their lives and to not be a stumbling block to others by understanding their personal convictions.
What might be a hang-up for some is not to others and as brothers and sisters we should accept and encourage others in order to facilitate unity. “So then, let us pursue what promotes peace and what builds up one another” (Romans 14:19).
Blue laws often proved to be an unnecessary burden on others, we should not be the same to our fellow believers. Die on the hill of doctrine, show charity in matters of practice.