ARE YOU PLAYING JUDGE
By Carolyn Dale Newell
So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brothers’ way.
Romans 14:12-13 NKJV
If the truth sets us free, why are some Christians still in bondage? Christ’s death and resurrection broke the power of Satan, sin, and death. Some of us still carry a ball and chain around our legs.
I never considered myself legalistic. That described those who condemned me for wearing pants, cutting my hair, and wearing jewelry.
Then came one of our coldest winters. Even with my warm-natured blood, my wardrobe consisted of flannel shirts and flannel-lined jeans. One Saturday evening, we faced attending church the next morning in single digit temperatures. Would Jesus really mind if I wore my flannel-lined jeans to church?
I posted that question on Facebook, and the comments were astonishing. Most people noted that God looks on our hearts and not at our clothes. Coming in as the second most popular answer was the many ladies who regularly wear jeans to church.
I dress up when I go to church because I am going to see the King. As children, we always dressed in our Sunday best for church, but here was an entire generation who had no problems wearing jeans to worship.
Romans chapter 14 might sound archaic at first but take some time and study it. Look at another translation (another ball and chain we drag around).
While Paul wrote to the Romans about eating meat and observing holy days, we could replace those words with the things that bind us today, such as dress, length of hair, and reading other translations of the Bible.
Yes, there are certain outfits you should not wear to church. Some clothing should not be worn anywhere by Christians. Modesty is the key. Also, certain translations of God’s Word are blasphemous, but overall, we are enslaving ourselves.
Furthermore, we judge those who don’t do as we do. God is our judge. I may have convictions about what I wear to worship, but I have crossed the line when I place my convictions on others.
Forgive me for judging you because you did not share my convictions. I wore my flannel jeans! Denim did not interfere with my worship, but you will rarely find me in anything other than a dress or skirt at church. I pray I will never pass judgment on your fashion statement again.
This passage is not so much about dress or food. It is about Christian liberty, the law of love. My convictions are simply that -my convictions, not your convictions.
Examine yourself. Are you dragging around a ball and chain from which Christ has set you free? Are you placing your convictions on others? Prayerfully ponder these questions.
Lord Jesus, thank You for setting us free. Help us realize when we bind ourselves. Convict us about judging others. Forgive us. In the name of Christ, Amen.
Read Romans 14.
HIKING THE TRAIL
After reading Romans 14, ask the Lord to reveal the truth to you, applying it to your heart.
Copyright 2018 Carolyn Dale Newell.