In non-essentials, liberty

Date: Thursday, February 20

ScriptureRomans 14:1-6

Verse: Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. (Romans 14:3)

There is a quote attributed to Christian leaders from Augustine to John Wesley, which goes something like this, “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; in all things, charity.” I’ve heard the same sentiment when someone is accused of “majoring in the minors” and in the title of a book from several years ago, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff. We know what it is like to make “a mountain out of a molehill,” to see an issue as far bigger than it actually is. This happens in our churches, our families, our jobs and schools, and many other facets of life. 

In today’s passage, we hear Paul saying much the same thing. Our faith is so much more than eating certain foods, celebrating certain holidays, or any of these other outward expressions of faith which I’m sure were sources of deep controversy in the first century church in Rome. For us it may be more about what songs you sing during worship, how you pray, what version of the Bible you read, or something else. No matter which side of these expressions of faith you may fall upon, if you do it “in honor of the Lord,” it is an act of worship.

May we as believers remember to major in the majors. May we continue to keep our eyes upon Jesus, our hope in this age and in the age to come.

Prayer: Teach me, O God, to differentiate between the essentials and non-essentials. Amen.

Action: Inventory the small stuff you are holding onto.

Respond: When have non-essentials clouded your thinking? Answer by clicking “Leave a Comment” below.
If you are receiving this via email, click the title at the top of the email to take you to the devotion webpage where you can leave a comment.

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About Joe Iovino

Christian, husband & father, Associate Pastor in Monument CO, guitar player, motorcyclist, Mets fan.
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