Romans 14:22 – Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God.
Over the years I have heard some really immature statements from believers and preachers, statements which certainly do not seem becoming of either pastors or fathers. That being said, I’m sure I have said my fair share as well.
Presently, there is an emergence of preachers who use obscene language and drink alcohol in public, even while serving as preachers. Here are a few examples of what they say:
“I am a new creature in Christ, I can go to the beach with all the nakedness and it doesn’t affect me because I am free from sin! Yeah!”
“I can drink alcohol because I don’t drink to get drunk. I am free from the law and legal restrictions because I am in Christ! His first miracle was wine!”
“I can go and preach in Carnival, I don’t have to run and hide in a Carnival camp. Awesome!”
What makes these statements immature is the boastful and uncaring manner in which they are made.
Every Spirit-led pastor knows that in the Lord’s church, there are people of different faith and growth levels in Christ.
In Romans 14 Paul instructs:
“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”
As leaders, we must understand that we have in our care people that may be weak in faith and we must receive and encourage them.
As a pastor, I don’t drink alcohol. Why? Because I think it will make me unholy? No! Rather it’s because of love. Paul says,
“I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.” Romans 14
As a pastor, would it make sense if I drank alcohol and never got drunk, but my brother follows my example and goes home drunk? Would it make sense that I boast that I am free to go to the beach or Carnival and my brother follows my example and was over powered by lust and spent the night watching porn?
Paul puts it this way in 1 Corinthians 8:13: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” Now that’s love, that’s a leader, a father, an apostle – not someone playing doctrine games with people’s lives.
One of the ways to be an effective leader in Christ is not to boast in a doctrine nor in yourself.
As leaders, our desire should be to see people grow in Christ and love.
So let’s strive to be an example not in pride, but in all humility and tenderness among our brothers and sisters demonstrating the love of God.
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