Romans Bible Verses For A Healthy Life
This is the eleventh post in a series that began on March 14, 2018. Here are the first ten posts: blog1, blog2, blog3, blog4, blog5, blog6, blog7, blog8, blog9 and blog10. The first half of the posts were written within a few days of each other. The later posts have been taking me weeks and up to a month to think thru, brainstorm, write, edit and publish.
In this series, I have been explaining how specific events have prompted in me the creation of destructive belief systems, which have negatively impacted many areas of my life. I have also been sharing the new affirmations that I am declaring as I replace the old belief systems.
As I continue with this series, my life has been changing. Amazing blessings have been manifesting in my life and in the life of my loved ones. (More on this later.) I feel that the positive changes stem from me writing this series. By writing about my past events that negatively impacted my life, and then by rationalizing the feelings associated with the events and finally by replacing the old belief systems with healthy belief systems, I think this is changing my view on life. As my perception of my past, present and future life is evolving, amazing blessings are cascading into my life, one after another.
The Scripture For This Post Is Romans 14.
The chapter is titled: "Do Not Pass Judgment on One Another."
While we all have opinions about our bosses, about our coworkers, about our friends and about the people in general whom we interact with, the single group of people who seem to be on the knife edge of judgment are our family members.
Whether we grew up in the same household or if we are part of prior marriages (or new marriages), fact is that my conversations with family and friends alike seem to glow an intense fire red when it deals with family relationships and the trespasses that each feel have been done on to them.
This Post Is About Familial Relationships.
Specifically this post is about how my close family relationships have impact my life (and my friends' family lives). Due to the proximity of the relationships, I will respect my family's privacy by combining only the positive aspects of my family life and compare with my close friend's family troubles. (My friends are aware of the examples that I will be sharing from their lives.)
Positive Mother Daughter Familial Relationship.
Because I am female, the following observations are made from my own female perspective. The observations are on my family relationships and my other female friends' family lives.
The positive aspects of the mother daughter familial relationship that I can share is knowing that as long as both are alive, there is a chance to repair damage from the past and feel closure.
Without needing to rehash all of the past incidents, there is a safe space where each can pray for each other and ask for forgiveness from each other, even when the other person is not aware of the prayers. I have felt a tangible difference in certain relationships after prayers.
There is also the ability to read the Bible together to discuss the difference in the message interpretation from each verse. The simple act of reading the Bible together and having a short conversation regarding the message has been helpful to remind us of the tolerance we need for each other's points of view.
Finally there is the ability to communicate with the other person that certain patterns of behaviors from the past, have been damaging. Depending on the situation, this conversation may open the dialogue for ways to cease the prior behavior and look for ways to improve the relationship (pending both parties are open to such candid and honest discussions).
Mother Daughter Familial Relationships That Have Not Healed. No Faults. Just Not Healed.
(Publishing with permission)
A friend of mine had a school project tracing her maternal genealogy. Her paternal genealogy was simple enough to trace, but her maternal roots were a bit more tricky due to family incidents when her grandmother and great grandmother were children.
She called her grandmother and explained her enthusiasm at tracing her roots. After a short phone call, she decided to make an out of state trip to visit her grandmother who had offered to help. Once at her grandmother's, her grandmother explained that the project would resurface ill feelings between her grandmother's sister and her grandmother's mother (my friend's great grandmother).
Not realizing the level of hurt between the two sisters and her great grandmother, my friend pushed on with her desire to know about her roots. Her grandmother made a phone call to her sister to let her know that a grandchild was asking to interview their mother. My friend's grandmother had not seen her mother since early childhood and therefore did not know where she lived. My friend's grandmother and her sister began arguing almost immediately. After a very brief phone call, the call ended abruptly.
My friend realized that the project would end with her grandmother and no further information would be available. She decided to take the remaining days as a vacation to spend time with her grandmother and took notes on her grandmother's childhood.
She learned that her grandmother was left behind by her biological mother. At less than 6 years old her grandmother had been abandoned at the old family ranch. She spent days alone until an old worker found her and took her in. The grandmother had her maternal parents last name and no one knew the name of her real father. Her mother (my friend's great grandmother) remarried and had a new family.
The great grandmother's second child was also female. It was this woman who had refused to give the address to her grandmother. According to my friend, the two sisters had never been able to say a single kind word to each other in all of their lives. The feud trickled down generations to their children and now to their grand children as well.
Right before my friend left her grandmother's home a message was left on the answering machine. All it said was an address, a date and yelling instructions to stay out of her mother's house. My friend refused to go at first (she remembers the belligerent and vulgar instructions on the message), but the grandmother convinced her to go, citing this may be the only chance to have her questions answered regarding her female heritage.
Upon arriving, the grandmother stayed out on the curb while my friend walked up to the door alone. According to my friend a frail but very feisty elderly woman looked around and demanded to know her name and business at her door. My friend calmly explained her name and her reason for knocking at her door. The woman demanded to know where the grandmother was and exhaustively reminded my friend her own daughter (my friend's grandmother) was not welcome in her home.
My friend's eyes watered as she told me the story. My friend confided that despite all of the years that had passed, time had not diminished her pain of those memories. My friend said that she still felt the same heart break just by retelling the story. How could anyone hate their own first born child? Hate the flesh of their flesh so much, to the point of abandoning her to die? Her grandmother was the kindest, loveliest woman in her eyes.
My friend pushes on with her project. My friend had her notebook ready and her pen. The great grandmother refused to allow her to record the conversation and stated in an aggressive tone that she was not doing this for that woman. She stated that she was only doing this for her beloved daughter who had asked her as a favor. (Apparently, she did not see my friend's grandmother as her daughter at all.)
The interview began outside as the great grandmother stood at the door. Then, my friend was finally invited inside after explaining what the project entailed. Shortly after entering her great grandmother began crying. The great grandmother began telling the story of her childhood. She too was abandoned by her biological mother and was taken in by her relatives. Her names were also changed and she detailed the horrific abuse she endured at that family's home. She married to leave that home.
She never knew her real family. She had no information for my friend. When my friend asked why there was so much animosity between her grandmother and her other daughter, the great grandmother began yelling to get out of her house. That name was not to be spoken in her presence. My friend left her lemonade untouched. My friend left the house shortly after entering.
My friend walked outside with tears in her eyes. She met up with her grandmother. She hugged her grandmother and told her that woman was an awful woman. The grandmother asked her to not be so judgmental. Her grandmother explained that her mother had suffered a great deal throughout her life. Her grandmother told her that God cannot help us, if we do not allow Him.
My friend went back home and told her mother what had happened. More details emerged between the sisterly feud and the great mother's past. My friend's grandmother and great grandmother have both passed. Both women took to the grave their unresolved pain and suffering.
God Asks Us To Love Each Other.
Please consider reading all of Romans. The entire section has so much useful advice, that anyone looking to make immediate changes to their life can start here. For this post i am concentrating on Romans 14. Here is the full chapter along with my personal opinions.
Romans 14:1 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. All of Romans stresses the responsibility that we all have to behave in a Christ like fashion.
We are to love each other. To me, this verse is about welcoming all fellow human beings, regardless of their belief systems. To me, this verse is about our responsibility to love and accept each other, despite our differences in opinions and beliefs. Especially necessary during this time of political division.
Romans 14:2 One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. This is a very interesting verse because of the use of the word "weak". In the entire book of Romans we are told to be tolerant of each other, to not judge each other and to love each other. To me, this verse is about pointing out just how judgmental we are of each other. The separation of people is so severe that we even create barriers for those with a different diet. The pettiness between people trickles down to even the differences in people's diet. I am a vegan. I am worried to even tell people my dietary lifestyle because i am constantly ridiculed and worry to have my relationships affected by my choices in food.
Romans 14:3 Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. To me, this sentences follows up on the prior. Do not be petty towards each other. We are all welcomed by God. The division between people comes from passing judgment between each other.
Satan fixes wedges between people by focusing on our differences. We are led astray from God's Word by our petty thoughts against others. No one is "weak" in God's eyes. We are all worthy of God. One person is not more worthy than another.
There is NO circumstance where one person is more valuable to God than another. These are the ways to not be in God's grace: is by being judgmental of others' opinions, by creating division with others based on their likes, by not being tolerant of other's beliefs, by not loving those who may live a different lifestyle from us, by looking down on others and causing friction with others by believing yourself more worthy of God than another.
There is also a hint of looking down on others less fortunate by mentioning that those who eat meat vs those who do not have the money for meat vs those who abstain (fast) for spiritual purposes. I fast weekly. One day per week, i dedicate to prayer and God. RARELY do i let anyone know this part of my life. The verse states emphatically to not judge anyone on any account because we are all welcomed by God.
Romans 14:4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
To me, the lesson is made crystal clear here. DO NOT JUDGE ANYONE. If someone falls or stands, this decision is up to the person's individual choices and decisions. Their life is between them, our Lord and NOT us. Do not be prideful in passing judgment of others, regardless of their behavior. We are to stay clear of judgmental thinking.
Romans 14:5 One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
To me, this is not a repetition of the prior eating verses. Instead, the above verses deal with eating, the physical world- actions and behaviors. This new section deals with our thoughts. Just because we may think differently, we are not to judge one another.
We are told to mind our own thoughts and look at our minds. We are told to introspect, to take accountability and responsibility for our words, our thoughts and our actions. The following verses all reiterate the concept of minding our own thoughts and to not judge each other's thoughts.
Romans 14:6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.
To me, this verse is a beautiful way to say that each and every one of us has own way of connecting, praising and speaking to the Lord. We each have our unique way to LOVE our Lord. Our Lord acknowledges each and every unique way in which we choose to love God. We are to respect each other's unique way of loving the Lord.
Romans 14:7 For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself.
To me this verse is vital. None of us are ever alone. Every breath of life has the Lord with us. At the moment of death, the Lord is with us there too. It is not possible for us to ever be alone. We are a part of Him, and He is a part of us. A simply beautiful verse to remind us, that God is an eternal part of us. This is a reminder to me that our spirit communicates with God from conception until death.
Romans 14:8 For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.
Again, reiteration that no matter what we do in life and death, the Lord is with us. Our entire life and even in death, we belong to the Lord.
Our daily thoughts must be concentrated on our own lives and our relationship with our Lord. There is no room to judge others as part of our life.
Romans 14:9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
This powerful verse reminds me that Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan in the mountain. Jesus Christ went to hell and back. Jesus Christ faced death and came back. Jesus Christ ordered demons back to hell and out of people. Jesus Christ is the way to the Lord.
The covenant of the old testament, had rules, strict behaviors and even sacrifices that were needed to be performed in order to be in the Lord's grace.
Christ, God's son, was born and died so that we could reach God, thru him. Up until this point we are instructed that our thoughts, our actions, our spirit, our life and even our death belong to the Lord. It is thru Jesus Christ that we were reconciled with our Lord. We are to recognize our divinity in ourselves and respect the divinity in others because we all made in the image of the Lord.
I will leave the verses below for you to continue with your own introspection. What do the following verses mean to you?
Romans 14:10 Why do yo pass judgment on your bother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God;
Romans 14:11 for it is written,
"As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall confess to God."
Romans 14:12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Do Not Cause Another to Stumble
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us not pas judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
Romans 14:14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.
Romans 14:15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.
Romans 14:16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Romans 14:19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
Romans 14:20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats.
Romans 14:21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.
Romans 14:22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves.
Romans 14:23 But whoever has doubts is in condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.
Here Is The Paragraph That I Wrote Before Writing Romans 14.
"While we all have opinions about our bosses, about our coworkers, about our friends and about the people in general whom we interact with, the single group of people who seem to be on the knife edge of judgment are our family members."
After reading the entire Romans 14 chapter, how differently does this paragraph read to you now? In blog10, I explain how the medical community has been using tools to map people's personalities thru testing which poses scenarios and questions. The manner in which the questions are worded and in the order the questions flow, reminded me to the similarities between the Bible and the tests.
With the example above, i hope to have been able to explain how just reading a few Bible verses can impact someone's entire view on life. I believe that the more that I have been introspecting on Bible teachings and applying the teachings to my daily life, this is why my life has been improving dramatically in such a short amount of time.
A thank you to my friend is in order. My gratitude to her for allowing me to share such a personal part of her life. My friend was also abandoned at 16 years old by her family. She too has a VERY difficult relationship with her half sister. She too has had a rocky relationship with her mother. To recap: the great grandmother was abandoned. The grandmother was abandoned. Her mother left home at age 16. She was abandoned at 16. The difficulty in the sister relationship remains. Sadly, the patterns definitely cross many generations.
I am proud of my friend for being the strong woman that she is. I am proud to call her my friend. I am proud to see how embracing the Bible has made her the superwoman that she is today.
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