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Don't Criticize Other People

14 1Don't refuse to accept into your group a person that is weak in faith. And don't argue with that person about his different ideas. 2One person believes that he can eat any kind of food* he wants. But if another person's faith is weak, then that person believes he can eat only vegetables. 3The person that knows that he can eat any kind of food must not feel that he is better than the person that eats only vegetables. And the person that eats only vegetables must not decide that the person that eats all foods is wrong. God has accepted that person.

4You cannot judge another person's servant. His own master decides if he is doing right or wrong. And the Lord's servant will be right, because the Lord is able to make him right. 5One person might believe that one day is more important than another. And another person might believe that every day is the same. Each person should be sure about his own beliefs in his own mind. 6The person that thinks one day is more important than other days is doing that for the Lord. And the person that eats all kinds of food is doing that for the Lord. Yes, he gives thanks to God [for that food]. And the person that refuses to eat some foods does that for the Lord. And he gives thanks to God.

7Yes, [we all live for the Lord]. We don't live or die for ourselves. 8If we live, we are living for the Lord. And if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord. 9That is why Christ died and rose from death to live again. Christ did this so that he could be Lord (ruler) over people that have died and people that are living. 10So why do you judge your brother [in Christ]? Or why do you think that you are better than your brother? We will all stand before God, and he will judge us all. 11Yes, it is written in the Scriptures*: "Every person will bow before me; every person will say that I am God. As surely as I live, these things will happen, says the Lord (God)." Isaiah 45:23

12So each of us will have to explain to God about the things we do.

Don't Cause Other People to Sin

13So we should stop judging each other. We must decide not to do anything that will make a brother [or sister] weak or fall into sin. 14I am in the Lord Jesus. And I know that there is no food that is wrong to eat. But if a person believes that something is wrong, then that thing is wrong for him. 15If you hurt your brother's faith because of something you eat, then you are not really following the way of love. Don't destroy a person's faith by eating something [that he thinks is wrong]. Christ died for that person. 16Don't allow something that you think is good to become something that other people say is evil.

17In the kingdom of God, eating and drinking are not important. In the kingdom of God, the important things are these: living right with God, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.* 18Any person who serves Christ by living this way is pleasing God. And that person will be accepted by other people.

19So let us try as hard as we can to do the things that make peace. And let us try to do the things that will help each other. 20Don't let the eating of food destroy the work of God. All food is right to eat. But it is wrong for a person to eat something that makes another person fall into sin. 21It is better not to eat meat or drink wine if that makes your brother [or sister] fall into sin. It is better not to do anything that will make your brother [or sister] sin. 22Your beliefs about these things should be kept secret between yourself and God. A person is blessed (happy) if he can do the things he thinks are right without feeling guilty. 23But if a person eats something without being sure that it is right, then that person makes himself wrong. Why? Because that person did not believe that it was right. And if a person does anything without believing that it is right, then it is sin.

any kind of food The Jewish law said there were some foods Jews should not eat. When Jews became Christians, some of them did not understand they could now eat all foods. Scriptures Holy Writings--the Old Testament. Spirit, Holy Spirit Also called the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, and the Comforter. Joined with God and Christ, he does God's work among people in the world.

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