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  • Paul Holcombe

Romans 14:13-19

Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.



You might have seen this ridiculous game play itself out. There is a guy talking to another guy. While they are talking, someone else comes behind the unsuspecting person and gets on their hands and knees on the ground. Then the other guy pushes the poor soul, and they fall backwards over the person stationed behind them. It is a stupid game that guys play. It also gives us a pretty good idea of what a stumbling block is. According to Jesus, this isn’t a game we should be playing with each other. The church is designed to build up, not to knock down.


As Christians, we have a tendency to major in the minors. Churches often have more discussions about and focus on the minor things. Whether it is flowers (real or fake), carpet (color preference), or type of music, these fall into the category of minor things. They serve to take our eyes off of the Kingdom of God and place them on our own kingdom. Here is some deep theology…don’t do that. Our personal preferences are not considered when it comes to the Kingdom of God.


We are to spend less time focusing on our preferences and more time focusing on His Kingdom. The Kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Strive for holiness and you will end in righteousness. Strive for peace and you will end in truth. Strive for joy in the Spirit, “And the things of this world will grow strangely dim.” Strive for yourself and you will be a stumbling block for others.


Pursue Christ.


Pursue peace and building up others.

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