Opinions. Everybody has them. Most of us think ours are better than the next guy’s. But as Christians, we need to handle opinions–our own and others’–with care, especially the opinions of those who are new or young in the faith. Listen to the encouragement of Romans 14:1:
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.
What happens when an opinion-quarrel breaks out? The door gets opened to “despising” a brother or sister in Christ (14:3a). Judgment gets passed on a fellow disciple (14:3b). And easily forgotten in an opinion-quarrel? “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another” (14:4)? If the Lord has “welcomed” (14:3), is “upholding” and making that brother or sister “stand” (14:4), who am I–simply a fellow (unworthy!) servant of the Lord–to pick a fight over a matter of judgment?
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. (14:13)
Together, we belong to a kingdom that is all about righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (14:17). Meditate on those words. Righteousness. Peace. Joy. How much more eternally significant are those bedrock principles than flimsy opinions and fickle personal preferences?
Whether in person or online today, “let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (14:19). Our King expects it; our blood-bought brethren are worth it.