As we continue our study of Romans 14, let’s take a look at one of the questions that has come up:
“Is the ‘stumbling block/hindrance’ in verse 13 a reference to ‘hurting someone’s feelings’, or is this a more serious spiritual offense?”
According to Rom. 14:13, Paul says that a decision should be made by those who are “stronger in faith”. This group of Christians was/is encouraged to make a conscious decision and commitment to “never” put obstacles in the way of their weaker brethren. But what exactly is this group deciding to do, or NOT to do? Are they deciding that they will never do anything that will hurt the feelings or upset the spiritual “comfort” of their weaker brethren? Are they committing themselves to never say/do anything that – in our modern way of thinking – would “offend“ their weaker brethren? If this were the case, wouldn’t we be perpetually “handcuffed” by the preferences and comfort zones of weaker Christians? Would the Church not simply become a “field of eggshells”, where we must constantly cater to the desires and comforts of those who really need to grow up in their faith? Would we not become encouragers and enablers of the weak, instead of challenging them to grow in the understanding of their faith?