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Living a Life of Goodness...
“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. If you serve Christ with this attitude, you will please God, and others will approve of you, too.”
Romans 14:17-18 NLT
The Apostle Paul wrote these words between 56 and 58 AD in Rome, dictating them to a secretary named Tertius. Much of Romans 14 deals with food and drink, of all things. This is still a point of contention with some religions; Jews have kosher laws, Muslims have halal, and at the time Romans was written, there was debate on what a follower of The Way should or should not eat or drink.
Paul tried to put an end to these arguments, saying that something as trivial as dietary choices or the refusal to drink alcohol wasn’t important to God. As he says in the first line of this verse, what IS important is “living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
We shouldn’t fuss about what another brother or sister in Christ eats or doesn’t eat, or if they drink alcohol (unless it is in excess). If he or she decides that they can serve Him best by eating only vegetables or eating only steak, we should not tease them, nor should they deride us if we choose to have a glass of wine or two with our meal.
Paul wanted to ensure that all Christians — from those of his time through today —placed serving God above all else. Living with a heart for God’s righteousness, peace and joy is acceptable in His sight. Not only will God be pleased if you live a life of goodness, but your fellow humans will take notice as well.
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