Reading: Romans 14: 10-12
Verse 11: Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.
Paul continues his conversation about diversity in the body of Christ. He emphasized that most of us are at differing spots in our faith journeys and that we come to the church with our own unique backgrounds and traditions. Therefore unity must come in and through Christ. Christ must be the one thing that unites the church. Jesus is our “bottom line” so to speak – He is Lord of all.
Paul asks why we must judge or look down on our brother or sister in Christ who does not do exactly as we do. When we choose to judge or condemn or belittle another’s faith or their practices of faith, we are putting ourselves in a place we should not go to. For example, just because I prefer to read and study and pray in the early morning and another prefers the quiet of the evening does not make one of us “right” or “better” than the other. If one church uses bread and another crackers, one communion is not better or more acceptable than the other.
The time or particular way we practice our faith are small details we use to accomplish the same goal – to grow closer to Christ as we seek to become more like Him. This is the goal for all Christians – to become more like Christ. But at times we fail, so Paul includes a warning, quoting from the prophet Isaiah: “Every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God”. He will not only want to know what we did with the least and the lost, but also how we treated all of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Did we practice unity and did we work to bring harmony to the whole body of Christ? Or did we remain divided, allowing it to be less?