DSC_9981It is so easy to pass judgement upon another person. Meat eaters sometimes look down upon vegetarians and vegans, and sometimes those who have given up meet look upon the meat eaters as ignorant and disgusting. There always will be persons who will try to find anything they can to differentiate themselves from everyone else. Some parents will do their best to unsettle other parents by asking questions on child raising techniques, study habits, potty-training techniques, baseball swing and more – and in the process, will cause other parents to wonder if they are doing a good job as parents.

Every now and then a high profile person like an athlete or entertainer might mention a desire to abstain from sex, meat, drinking or smoking. Sometimes when the press gets wind of these personal choices and commitments, the personal choice of the individual involved can become a source of conversation if not derision.

It is interesting that the Apostle Paul has something to say about how God welcomes persons who line up on both sides of the aisle. God is not so much concerned with our external appearance but our internal acceptance of his Word, truth, grace, mercy and salvation. If Paul saw God as one who welcomes the diversity of human beings, you and I should strive for a similar spirit in how we approach persons who live their lives under different philosophies, diets, and desires.

Romans 14: 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[1]

Prayer: Lord, help me to be non- judgmental regarding the personal choices of those around me. Help me to appreciate the unique differences that make each person special in your sight. Lord, help me to welcome each person, just as you have welcomed me. Lord, I do not claim to have all of the answers. Grant me the strength to seek your salvation, but as I make my Christian journey, show me how to love, honor and respect the individuality of all of your creatures. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.

Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III

Photo by Nicholas Hood III

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[1] The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ro 14:3). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.