November 15, 2021

Whatever Works

When our boys were small, they slept in their own beds right from the start. I knew there was no way I would ever sleep if they were in bed with me. I even had to have the baby monitor turned way down so I only heard them when they started crying and I didn't hear every time they squirmed around in the crib. I didn't (and still can't!) understand how so many of my friends could sleep with their kids in bed with them. When talking about it, we'd often just laugh and say, "you've gotta do whatever works for you."

That applied to so many things! The foods we served (and that the kids would actually eat), the technology time we allowed, whether or not they were registered for minor hockey...the list goes on and on. In parenting there are many right ways to do things. Each family has to pick and choose what will work for them, without judging that others are wrong if they choose differently.

The Bible has a sort of "whatever works for you" moment, too. Writing to the Romans, Paul said, "Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. For instance, one person believes it’s all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them" (Romans 14:1-3). He continued, "In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God" (vv. 5-6).

Paul was telling the Romans it's okay to worship God through opposing choices and he stressed that neither choice is wrong, which is a message that still needs to be heard today. Whether we do or we don't do a particular thing, Paul said, it's important that we each do what we believe is right. Equally important is that we aren't to be shaming or judging the people who choose differently than we do.

I remember hearing Chuck Swindoll say that he was taken aback at a pastor's conference in Germany years ago when he saw all of his fellow pastors drinking beer with their meal, which is something he would never consider, but that is perfectly acceptable in German culture. The other pastors weren't wrong for having a beer and Chuck wasn't wrong for not having one. They simply believed differently about what was right and followed their own convictions.
As long as we are seeking to please and honour God, the how of it doesn't matter |
Our society these days tries to insist that everything is either right or wrong, without allowing for differences of culture or belief, but God used Paul's letter to the Romans to tells us otherwise. He created us to have different opinions, different cultures and different ways of worshipping Him. As long as we are seeking to please and honour Him, the how of it doesn't matter.


  1. You really get to the heart of these scriptures. Thank you

  2. I appreciate your understanding of these verses. Interestingly, I just had a similar experience, hearing another believer's understanding of the Holy Spirit that's different from mine. Yes, we both believe in the Holy Spirit. We just believe differently how the Spirit comes into our lives. We must respect one another, and appreciate our differences in the Lord.


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