Some People Are Just Too Nosey
By: Rev. Joe Kramer
One definition for nosey is” offensively curious or inquisitive.” One individual can do acts that a Christian doesn’t approve of (I am not talking about overt sinful acts, i am talking about those things that are not). However, the question should be asked. Is this individual doing anything overtly sinful, unethical, or immoral? If the answer is NO, then perhaps the problem isn’t with their actions but your perception of their actions.
Today we will be looking at Romans Chapter fourteen in three parts. If we want the church to thrive then we need to mind our own business. We must not judge things that have no eternal value, we should not abuse our Christian freedom, and everything we do must be done in faith.
We must not judge things that have no eternal value
Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2 For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3 Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4 Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. 5 One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks. 7 For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. 8 For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
-Romans 14:1-9 (NKJV)
Christians are not to act from emotion, but from settled inward convictions that are the result of diligent prayer and study of the Word of God. There would be no serious problems if every Christian acted from conviction. Someone has said that opinions are what we hold, while convictions are what hold us. The stronger Christian is not to despise the weaker one in their immaturity; neither is the weaker Christian to judge the more mature brothers and sisters for their freedom in Christ. In Christ both are Christians, so we should remember that in our dealings with each other. Our lives are to be directed by Jesus, not by people’s ideas or judgments. Mature Christians know why they have acted the way they have acted and have no need for someone to approve or disapprove their actions. All they care about is How God looks at their actions. Why? Because they have put thought, prayer, and conviction behind the action they have performed (for the most part anyway, we do sometimes make snap decisions).
“I’m living my own life!” is a statement no Christian ought to make, because we belong to Jesus Christ, whether we live or die. He is the Lord, and we must live to please Him. So often the Christian who has sin in their life, a little white sin or whatever, can’t say they are doing anything “unto the Lord”; because they are truly practicing their so called Christianity from a place of selfishness and not as unto the Lord.
We should not abuse our Christian freedom
But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the LORD,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”
12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way. 14 I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16 Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21 It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.
-Romans 14:10-21 (NKJV
We are not judgment seekers, but fruit inspectors. Some people who judge how other people behave or the acts they do will look at that Christian and see good fruit. Why? Because maybe what they are doing isn’t sinful, maybe you are living under the conviction God gave you and they are living under the conviction that God gave them. We have no right to judge our brethren, for we will all have our works tested at the judgment seat of Christ—not the White Throne Judgment, but the testing of the Christian’s works after the church is called home. We do not have to give an account of our brother’s life, so we have no right to condemn him today. Certainly all of us want to live lives that will stand the testing of Christ, lives that will win rewards for His glory.
There is one thing we should judge: we should judge ourselves to see whether we are abusing our Christian freedom and making others stumble. Certainly nothing is unclean of itself, but some practices and habits are considered unclean by others. Therefore, if we deliberately do something that makes our brothers stumble, we’re not living according to love.
It is a serious thing to cause another person to stumble and fall into sin. In Mark 9:33–50, where “offend” means “cause to stumble.” The believer who holds on to his questionable practice and causes another Christian to fall in their walk with God. This person is blind to the price Jesus paid on the cross. Our good should not cause evil talk. The Christian life is not a matter of eating or drinking (or any other practice), but one of righteousness and peace and joy, all of which come from the Spirit. Our aim should be not to please ourselves, but to build up other Christians in love. 1 Corinthians 10:23 states that all things are lawful for the believer, but not everything builds us up or helps to build up others. How selfish for a Christian to tear down another believer’s spiritual life because of his own selfish living (or prideful arrogance). Their practices may be lawful, but they do not come under the law of love.
We must do everything by faith
Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23 But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
-Romans 14:22-23 (NKJV)
The Greek word for “faith” in v. 22 means almost the same as “conviction,” for our convictions are born of faith in God’s Word. These two verses lay down the principle that the Christian life is between the believer and the Lord, and that the believer must always be sure they are right with the Lord. If there are doubts about some of their practices, they can’t have joy and peace. Verse twenty three reads that the Christian is condemned. That is, the Christian who engages in practices with a doubtful mind is condemning himself and those practices by his very attitude. Whatever we do that is not of faith is sin, for the Christian lives by faith. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by Word of God.” Anything I do that I can’t back up by the Word of God is sin. If it isn’t in the Word I can’t possibly do it in faith, therefore it is sin, plain and simple.