Eating and Judgment: Part Two

Eating and Judgment: Part Two

Last week, I wrote about the habit of scrutinizing what others eat. Normally, I don’t scrutinize. Except for now.

This is a pivotal moment in the human story.

Let me be clear: we’re not actually talking about food. And the Bible quote from last week wasn’t really about food either. Here’s how I figured out what it really means.

Here’s the quote:

One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

Romans 14:2-3 NIV

Now remove the underlined words.

One person’s faith allows them to — anything, but another, whose faith is weak, —s only —. The one who —s everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not — everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

Romans 14:2-3 NIV

I replaced the verb to eat with the verb to handle.

One person’s faith allows them to handle anything, but another, whose faith is weak, handles only vegetables very little. The one who handles everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not handle everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

Romans 14:2-3 NIV

I think my mind was working on this subconsciously throughout the week. In a flash, I had my answer. Then I waited a day or two before I set out to explain it.

And I mused to myself, “Is this not the epitome of what happens all the time in leading and following? In parenting children? In the workplace? In government?”

Basically, our faith in God and others is tested when we participate in any organized activity. We elect or appoint a leader, or some leaders. Then, we either hold them accountable, or we slip into judgment. Leadership is a tremendous responsibility. It is not easier to be the leader(s) or the follower(s). How we do leadership from all perspectives is a measure of integrity and honor.

I think the last line is worth emphasis:

…for God has accepted them.

Love is not adoration or romance. Love is acceptance. God models this for us all of the time. We are less than perfect and we are still loved by God. He has accepted us. So why do we cast judgment? Why do we resist doing the respectful work of leading or the respectful work of following? Are we lazy? Maybe we need more discipline. Maybe we need to fast.

When we are presented with the apple (a juicy opportunity), we should develop the ability to say, “No, thanks.”

Because I guarantee you, it’s a test.

It’s real. But we must ask ourselves, “What is true?”

And if we fail to live and lead with integrity and honor, what then?