Here's another daily sample from the devotional: Our Relationships:
Title: Acting in Love
Scripture Passage: Romans 14:10-18
Paul makes it clear that the question of my brother or sister’s spiritual destiny is far more important than whether I am right or wrong in my position on a particular issue. You can be right on the issue and yet wrong before God.
The Core Teaching:
Paul’s comments here remind us of other places where he indicates that believers will give an account of our lives before God, just as unbelievers will (2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 2:6). When the Romans do so, it will not matter what their position is on the question of eating or not eating meat that has been sacrificed. What will matter is whether they have acted with conviction in their own actions and acted lovingly toward others. It is none of my business if my Christian brother or sister does not feel free to do things I feel free to do. On the other hand, it is very much my business not to lead my brother or sister into temptation and to cause them to stumble.
The Word Speaks:
Paul takes a very sophisticated position on the question of food here. He does not believe that food in itself is either clean or unclean—a startling position when we consider the codes on clean and unclean in Leviticus. What makes something clean or unclean is the attitude with which you approach it. We might easily generalize this principle to all Christian ethics. It is not so much specific acts that are right or wrong but a person’s attitude in doing them. Acts that are universally wrong, like murder, are thus acts that no one could do anywhere in love. Those who act with peace and joy, as well as love of their neighbor, are the ones pleasing to God (14:17-18).
How easily Christians get the values of these verses turned around! We are convinced we are right in some belief or practice and then ironically become displeasing to God because of judgmental or hateful attitudes toward others. The irony of what Paul is saying here is that one might actually sin while doing the right thing. I might tell the truth out of hatred toward another. I might use my freedom to drink in a way that causes another believer to stumble. The Christian attitude is thus not one of “do’s” and “don’ts,” a legally oriented mind. The Christian attitude is one that filters my actions with a view to their impact on others and on the purity of my intentions in relation to God.
Responding through Prayer:
Spirit, search my heart. Make my intentions pure toward God and my actions loving toward others, even in my freedom.