There is a strong division of opinions regarding the current pandemic and vaccinations. One of the greatest challenges we face as disciples of Jesus is not so much where we stand, but how we can respectfully uphold people with differing viewpoints. We need to be able to do this without personal condemnation or judgement of others, or their points of view.
Read Romans 14:1-22
- Read Romans 14. What does it mean to hold our convictions with a “non-presumption of superiority” towards others?
- What does Romans 14 say to this? How might these verses apply to this statement?
- In what context did Paul write these verses? How might they apply to us in today’s context?
- Read Romans 14:4. What does this say to us about everyone having a liberty of conscience? How can we best respond to another person with an alternate viewpoint to us? Why can this be difficult for us?
- What do we need to change to be able to apply Romans 14:4 in our current circumstances?
- What does “mutual respect” mean to you? How can we apply this?
- Everyone will face both personal and collective consequences for their actions. How does this influence your personal decision making? Does this impact how you see other viewpoints?
In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter calls on us all to be willing to share the living hope of Jesus with others, but to do so with gentleness and respect. If we are to be a living example of Jesus in our world, we need to be able to treat others with both gentleness and respect. We will all be accountable before Jesus for our own actions, so we do not need to be the judge of another person’s opinions or actions. What is one way that you can demonstrate gentleness and respect to someone who has a different perspective to you today? Go and do it.