As we work our way through this “dealing with differences” chapter of Romans 14, one of the things that is not in the text, but that I am most assuredly reminded of, is my need to keep my eyes on The Lord.
I realize that every time I put any human being on a pedestal I am only setting myself up for disappointment, and that is because every descendent of Adam is flawed and prone to failure (Romans 3:9-18). Scripture tells us that man in his best state is altogether vanity (Psalm 39:5). Even the Apostle Peter displayed imperfect behavior, which needed to be addressed by Paul because of the detrimental impact it had on others (Galatians 2:11-14).
So, on one hand, we all need to realize the effect that our lives have on others, saved and unsaved. My life has the capacity to be either a stepping stone or stumbling block for the Name of Jesus. But, having said that, we also recognize that this side of glory is not a place to look for sinless perfection, for if we say that we are not sinners or have no sin, “we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8-10).
In a nutshell, Romans 14 is all about accountability to Christ (Romans 14:10). We are called to remember that we will all stand before Christ one day and give an account for how we have lived our lives as stewards of His grace. Thus, by keeping our eyes on Him (Isaiah 26:3,4), we can certainly prevent doing fleshly things that will harm others; and, by keeping our eyes on Christ, it will prevent us from becoming a spiritual police force.
Look to Christ (Hebrews 12:2), dwell in Christ (John 15:1-5), and purpose to love others for Christ’s sake (Romans 13:10).