Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Take Paul’s exhortation to heart and “stop passing judgment on one another” (Romans 14:13). Some matters of personal preference are just that—personal, which means that it’s between that person and God. Paul called them “disputable matters” (v.1)—referring to issues that are not clearly outlined in Scripture as right or wrong. Rather than using our preferences as a spiritual whipping post, we must give room for others to express a different opinion and to love them as Jesus does. And, Paul tells us, “make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way” (Rom. 14:13). When we know that something we feel is okay might endanger another’s walk with Jesus, then it’s up to us to love them enough to yield our preferences for the sake of their well-being.

And that’s the bottom line: love. It’s the glue that keeps us together when we face “disputable matters.” Next time you feel your grip tighten around a matter of personal preference, think about Romans 14:13. Stop passing judgment and make up your mind about what really matters—and hopefully love will win out every time!


  • What are some personal preferences you feel strongly about? In what ways might you be inclined to judge others who don’t match up to your view?
  • Sometimes it’s easy to get confused between non-negotiable biblical principles and our own personal convictions. Ask the Lord to help you carefully evaluate your personal preferences in light of Scripture.
  • According to Paul’s practical instructions in Romans 14:13, what are two steps you can take to avoid conflicts concerning personal preferences?