6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. 7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. Romans 14:6-9
Both the spiritually weak and the spiritually strong can both please God although they disagree about these third-level issues. I hope you see that in the text. They can both please God because their motive is the glory of God. If both are placing emphasis on honoring God, then both can please God even if they differ on these things.
We are reminded here that in Christianity, why we do something is often more important than what we do. This is true because God sees our hearts and knows our motivations. Since third-level issues are disputable, the important question for Paul was one of motivation. Why are you doing what you are doing and why are you not doing it? Why do you eat meat and why do you abstain? Why do you celebrate special days and why do you regard all days the same? If if is for the glory of God, Paul says, “God bless you, keep doing it or keep refraining from it.”
J.D. Crowley gets to the point here, “Too often, we make decisions about these kinds of matters based on what others will think or say, not based on the glory of God. Perhaps there is strong pressure from others in your church to be strict like they are, and you want to fit in. Or perhaps you sense that your Christian friends who have more freedom than you are making fun of you for your strictness, so you decide to go ahead and be like them. Or perhaps you’re tired of growing up in a strict family, so as soon as you move out, you start doing things that your parents had not allowed. These are not the right reasons to change your actions. You must decide to live your life for your real Master. Your friends are not your master. Your fellow church members are not your master. Your sinful nature is not your master. Even your church leaders are not your final master. Christ is. You should certainly listen to the counsel of others and respect your church leaders, but on the last day you will not stand before them. You will stand before Christ. Because of his death and resurrection, only Christ has the right to be the Lord of all the living. If you live, you live for his glory, and if you die, you die for his glory. So make sure the decisions you make in life are for the glory of God and not out of fear of man. God has given us much freedom to do many things, as long as we do those things for God’s glory.”