"You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God (Romans 14:10-12)
Understanding that we are only responsible for ourselves takes the burden off trying to make everyone else into a model Christian. When we understand that we can share, encourage, teach and equip others for this life but ultimately the responsibility for what they do with it falls squarely on their shoulders, this gives us the liberty to simply love and care for them. We do not need to take the burden of their behavior and decision upon ourselves. We will all give an account to God in the end, so instead of wasting time worrying about our brothers we should see to ourselves to make sure our motives are right, our hearts pure and we are walking in the plan the Lord has for us.
We are not to judge our fellow brothers over trivial matters such as eating and drinking. Nor should we look down or be impatient with them when they do not understand these truths. The Lord will reveal in due time this freedom to which they were called. Instead we need to be concerned with our own hearts and actions because we will give an account to God for them. Understanding this puts judging others in perspective. Instead we can make up our minds not to put stumbling blocks in their way. We should allow their paths to remain clear so they will not falter in their walk with the Lord on our account.
Knowing that we will stand before the Lord and confess his Lordship should excite you as a believer. Everything in heaven, earth and under the earth will eventually confess that Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords ( Philippians 2:9-11 ). If we confess this now while we live on this earth, then there is no fear in that day, because perfect love casts out fear. I John says, "In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love" ( I John 4:17-18 ). Association with Jesus is what gives us eternal life and a hope for heaven. Believing in Him is the deciding factor of whether we live or die. The good news is we can live for him now, confess and rejoice in what he did for us while looking forward to that day when we will stand before him and confess this Lordship to his face.
Understanding this provides perspective on our responsibility. We are not to judge or confuse our brothers and sisters by the freedom we enjoy rather we should understand that everyone will give an account to the Lord. So it is in our best interest to walk in our convictions with pureness of heart because the Lord has accepted them. In the same way, he has accepted fellow believers and their convictions. We are to make every effort to live our lives as to the Lord no matter how small or trivial the task. Because this shows a heart change and this is glorifying to Jesus, because of it, He has accepted us.
Today, I pray that you make up your mind to encourage your brothers and sisters instead of tearing them down. Make every effort to live in peace, guarding and protecting your heart and walking in the truth. May you evaluate your own motives today and walk in pureness before the Lord as this is pleasing to him.