Accept Those Weak in Faith without Passing Judgment—Romans 14:1
"Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters" (Romans 14:1)
Everyone comes from a different walk of life and is at a different level of maturity in Christ. Because of this we should welcome everyone into our fellowship while encouraging and uplifting them as we have a mutual bond in Christ Jesus. We must be patient, loving and not easy to criticize opinions or pass judgments on them for their lack of understanding. Neither should we confuse our brothers and sisters with doctrines and discussions that are beyond their current understanding. Instead we should encourage, teach and love them without condemning them.
There is a season to understanding the Word of God and walking in faith. We all start out as babes, but through the help of the Holy Spirit, the Lord reveals the truth of His word to us. Jesus spoke about this in the parable of the growing seed. "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain-first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come" ( Mark 4:26-29 ). The same is true in the Kingdom; there is a timeframe to everything. Maturity in faith can be compared to seedtime and harvest when understanding the process of growing into full understanding in Christ.
Jesus said that the seed is the word of God ( Mark 4:14 ). When the word is planted in the good soil of our hearts then it begins to germinate and grow. The seed is activated as soon as it is planted. However there is a time period between the seed being planted and the crop being harvested. Jesus identified that the stalk was the first evidence that the seed was growing, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. When the grain has ripened then it is time for the harvest. The same is true for us. We plant the word into our hearts and wait. We might not fully understand passages or concepts but we know that it will grow because the word is a seed. Through the course of time we see evidence that these truths have taken hold and are producing in our lives. We see bits and pieces until we have full revelation of His Word and see the harvest come. When this happens Jesus promised us that we will see an incredible harvest, "Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop-thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown" ( Mark 4:20 ). When we plant the word we can expect an abundant harvest in our lives, because this is how the kingdom works.
In the same way, when we accept those who are weak in faith we are to encourage and instruct them in the word without judging or criticizing them. For we know that those truths will begin to take hold and grow until understanding and maturity comes. I Peter says, "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation" ( I Peter 2:2 ). The word of God is the food for spiritual growth, we must feast on it in order to grow and mature. Paul also talked about this in his letter to Timothy, "from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work" ( II Timothy 3:15-17 ). Do you want to be equipped for life? Then plant the word in the good soil of your heart and watch it grow. This is an amazing truth from God's word that will forever change your life and the lives of those around you.