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“Have you Become an Obstacle?”

Romans 14:13

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.

Thoughts for Today:

Throughout his writing, Paul has regularly instructed against doing certain things. He has also given clear directions about what to do instead. For example:

Ephesians 4:25: "Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body."

Ephesians 4:28: "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need."

Philippians 4:6: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

2 Timothy 2:22: "Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

In the same way, Paul tells us in our passage today to stop passing judgment on one another. Why? Because when we do, it places a stumbling block in our brother's path. How so? By making them feel condemned, burdened, unworthy, and hopeless. What does Paul say to do instead of judging? It's simple -- nothing. We are to make sure no part of our behavior (whether words or example) becomes an obstacle to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Questions to Ponder:

Are my words of condemnation causing a brother to feel unworthy of God's grace? Paul tells us we are to judge ourselves, not others. Does that mean we are to beat ourselves up emotionally when we go off course? No, Paul tells us we are judge ourselves for evaluation purposes. So what happens if we don't make an appropriate course correction? God gives us liberty for awhile, but He loves us too much to let us travel a dangerous road for too long. Are you on the road to destruction? Do you need to get back on the right path? It's not too late. Begin right now.

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About the author

Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.