Saturday, June 2, 2012
Welcome to Day 153 of our Life Journal!
Before you comment or read what I have posted, please read the following passages for yourself and complete your own S.O.A.P. exercise… How does this work?
S.O.A.P = Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
Proverbs 22:11, “One who loves a pure heart and who speaks with grace will have the king for a friend.”
(Now THAT’S a great verse!)
Proverbs 22:17-24:22, “Thirty Sayings of the Wise.”
Proverbs 22:29, “Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.”
Proverbs 23:1-3, “When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you, 2 and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony. 3 Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.”
Proverbs 24:2, “Rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the Maker of them all.
Romans 14, insert whole chapter here!
Every time I read Romans 14 I gain more insight into being free from the Law… but more importantly, how to walk it out.
I could write volumes about Romans 14 and how I have applied it to my life over the years, and continue to do so.
I call Romans 14 the “gray” chapter, because it gives guidelines for gray areas of life.
Not everything is black and white.
Some things are gray… like what movies one chooses to see. What you eat or drink, or choose to not.
And how it may affect others…
Romans 14:5, “One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. 6 Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. 7 For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.”
Paul’s perspective is nothing is unclean…
Specifically, he is referring to sacred days, (observing the Sabbath and Jewish holidays and celebrations) what we eat or drink. Keep in mind, they were still struggling with Judaism, circumcision, and what foods they should or shouldn’t eat…
v 21, “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.”
I can only walk this out for myself and not force my personal convictions on those around me. I take this verse pretty seriously. And, at some point, each person is responsible for their own viewpoint and choices.
And here’s where the wisdom is in these verses, “So
whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.
Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and
everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
It’s easy to distill these verses into only about drinking. This is America.
I went to England where this wasn’t an issue. Pubs were a part of life. Wine with a meal, or a beer at a pub was just… normal. A part of life. Not an issue.
NOT drinking while eating at a pub, people would look at you like, “??”
(They even had Bible study guides with cover photos that had Bibles on a table in a pub next to pints. That spun me!)
But what about the movies we watch or the music we listen to.
Many people have strong convictions about drinking, but seem to have no convictions whatsoever about what they eat. (Or how they treat the waitress?)
I like this verse, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit…” v 17.
Obviously there are lines to be drawn based upon personal conviction, even for wisdom-sake. There is plenty in the Bible that “wine is a mocker” and to “not be drunk with wine.”
Again, I’m not talking about black and white issues.
Adultery is wrong. Gossip is wrong (even in the form of a prayer request. Check your heart on that one…)
I am trying to live life in a more proactive way. How is my “righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit?” Do I display the fruit of the Spirit? Am I a loving, generous person?
Again, not perfect, but in process. Being led by the Spirit.
I like black and white. I’m more comfortable with it. It’s clear and concise. In-arguable.
But when my personal convictions kick in and I am in disagreement with someone, I remember this one verse: “Whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God.”
We could disagree because I think something is ok, or I might think it’s not ok… Either way, there could be disagreement.
The question is, can I let you walk out what you believe about certain things, and still have relationship with you without forcing MY personal convictions on you.
I am learning that I don’t have to always give my opinion. I can keep my opinion to myself. It’s actually freeing.
Yes, there are times when I feel obligated to speak up on a matter, but that’s not what I’m talking about.. Or maybe it is? Knowing when to speak and when to keep silent is key.
If you have strong convictions about something that those around you feel differently, don’t compromise your convictions by giving in, and don’t force your convictions on those around you.
v 7, states, “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone.” We should, however, be mindful of how our actions may affect others, without letting that control us.
That is acting in love…
I love this chapter.
Lord, give us all wisdom as we walk out our personal convictions in love.