(Fasting and prayer day 6)
“Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him” (Rom 14:1-3)
The following are some of the rules that we must apply in our relationship with other believers in the church. The rules can be extended to the relationship between husband and wife, especially if one is more spiritually mature than the other. If you are strong or weak spiritually, all believers must apply these rules to themselves!
This is God’s command: Stop despising other human beings! We should not despise or reject one another because of minor differences. To despise, it means to arrogantly ignore another, to think that others are not worthy of your notice or encouragement. To despise, it means that you see others as low class, weak, foolish, even as a liability to your progress in life. This is God’s command: Let the Eater does not despise the non-Eater. Let the non-Eater do not despise the Eater! Let the rich, gifted and beautiful do not despise the poor, ugly or simple man. And it is the other way round!!! The truth is that each man, whatever his lot in life, has peculiar temptations.
These are the two options:
The strong believer should not despise the weak one. Do not be like the Pharisees, the religious ones: “Some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (Lk 18:9)! The weak one also has his own peculiar temptations. He judges the strong believer. Often, the poor one is jealous on the rich. He hides this jealousy with words of contempt. A poor man judges his rich neighbor, saying that he is too worldly, that he spends too much money on the things of this world, that he ‘enjoys his life’ too much. For example, the disciples judged Mary of Bethany, saying that she is too wasteful with her wealth when she broke the alabaster box to anoint Jesus. Jesus rebuked them for that attitude! (Mt 26:6-13)
This is a great lesson! Stop despising others! In particular, wife, do not look down on your husband, because he is rich or poor! These things change! Husband; do not despise your wife because she is more or less gifted than you! The truth is that no one is perfect! There is sin remaining in our body. The process of sanctification still goes on! Pray and love one another! Celebrate your differences! Celebrate the unity of the Spirit! Encourage one another! Your lives, your marriages, you churches will so much better if you obey this simple advice! May God help us all! In Jesus name, amen!