Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Hold The Bacon

I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. – Romans 14:14-15

Today’s Reading: Psalms 89-90; Romans 14

At the beginning of this long journey I wrote a post about one of Jesus’ parables. The lesson was that it isn’t what goes in us that makes us unclean but what comes out of us from our heart.

Clearly food choice has always been an issue of extreme importance.

But here is a flip side. Well, really it’s not a flip side but it is another perspective on loving your neighbor.

Paul is writing to the church in Rome about various things, but one of those things is a divide amongst the people about where they get their meat. Some folks in the congregation were eating food that others thought was unclean. Paul responded to the crisis by saying that food doesn’t make anyone unclean but why do something around a friend that will cause them spiritual hardship?

This kind of thing happens all of the time. Do you know someone who struggles with addiction? Perhaps they are working on self control in some aspect of their lives. Maybe they love the “drank” or love to gamble. Maybe they are like me and they love terribly terrific fast food.

I remember when I was fasting one of my friends was eating some GOOD food in front of me. He was like, hey man… I know you want some.

And I did… I did oh so very much.

So mean he was! I look back on it and laugh because it was funny; but I have seen the same thing happen in situations where the stakes are much higher. I’ve been in clubs and bars where friends are trying to bait one in their group into drinking more than they want. I’ve seen relationships where the one spouse who is trying to exercise and get healthy is being tempted with horrible food by the other spouse who resents their desire to change. I have friends who have had to cut off old “friends” because those folks kept tempting them to return to the lifestyle that they were trying to grow out of.

I think we have all done this to a certain degree. Often times it isn’t malicious. We have seen our friend be so good with their diet that we think they deserve a Carl’s Jr break. Or we feel sorry for them and think that they deserve a nice stiff drink as a reward for their long standing sobriety. After all what’s the harm? We can handle it so why can’t they?

Well sometimes they can’t. We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Those around us may or may not share in them. It is important to be aware of that, to be sensitive to the effect we are having on those around us.

This is what love is. Love is thinking about others before ourselves. Sometimes we have to forbear something we want for a short time to accommodate the challenges of those we love.

And that is ok. It is called being considerate.

How considerate are you? I bet not as much as you think. Think about it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License
A Convo With God by Clarence Mitchell III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at AConvoWithGod.com.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://AConvoWithGod.com/