Don’t be a stumbling block – Romans 14:13 | 2-minute meditation


In Romans 14:13, what does Paul have to say about empathy?

Romans 14:13
Therefore let us not pass judgment on one anoth… (visit YouTube for more)


In Romans chapter 14, verse 13, Paul writes: Therefore, let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or a hindrance the way of a brother.

Paul has just been talking about the whole issue of whether or not we are affecting somebody’s faith by eating things that they think they shouldn’t eat. And Paul is calling here for empathy, isn’t he? Non judgmental empathy.

He’s asking us to see things from our brother or sister’s point of view. If God had made me really wealthy would I show off that wealth to others, causing them to stumble through jealousy or envy? If I can, with a clear conscience pray or prophesy, wearing a hat as a man and yet, I know I’m surrounded by Christians for whom that’s a problem, why would I do it? Just take off my hat. We aren’t to put a stumbling block in the way of others.

So, Paul is strongly calling here for tolerance, for love, for kindness, and for empathy. And if we feel that we lack empathy, we lack an understanding or insight into other people, (and for some of us, empathy is a complete mystery) if we feel that we lack that, let us ask for God to grow it in us. Working at empathy is a demonstration of our love towards our brothers and sisters. And so we must commend that approach to each other.

Father God, Please grow our empathy. Please grow our insight and discernment. Please help us to be loving towards our brothers and sisters, just as Jesus has been loving, by laying his life down as a sacrifice so that all could be forgiven, including those that we might not consider to be worthy of forgiveness. God, you are truly gracious. Please help us to learn the way of grace. Amen.

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