The weak and the strong
14 • 1 Welcome those weak in faith and do not criticize their scruples. 2 Some think they can eat any food, while others, less liberated, eat only vegetables. 3 If you eat, do not despise those who abstain; if you abstain, do not criticize those who eat, for God has welcomed them. 4 Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? Whether he stands or falls, the one concerned is his master. But he will not fall, for his master is able to keep him standing.
5 Some judge one day to be better than the other; let us act according to our own opinion. 6 The one who distinguishes among days does that for the Lord; and the one who eats eats for the Lord and in eating gives thanks to the Lord. And the one who does not eat does it for the Lord and gives him thanks as well.
7 In fact, none of us lives for himself, nor dies for himself. 8 If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Either in life or in death, we belong to the Lord; 9 It was for this purpose that Christ both died and come to life again to be Lord both of the living and of the dead.
10 Then you, why do you criticize your brother or sister? And you, why do you despise them? For we will all appear at the tribunal of God. 11 It is written: I swear by myself—word of the Lord—every knee will bend before me, and every tongue shall give glory to God. 12 So each of us will account for himself before God.
13 Therefore, let us not continue criticizing one another; let us try, rather, never to put in the way of our brother anything that would make him stumble or fall. 14 I know, I am sure of this in the Lord Jesus, that nothing is unclean in itself, it is only unclean for those who consider it unclean. 15 But if you hurt your brother or sister because of a certain food, you are no longer walking according to love. Let not your eating cause the loss of one for whom Christ died.
16 Don’t put yourself in the wrong with something good. 17 The kingdom of God is not a matter of food or drink; it is justice, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, 18 and if you serve Christ in this way, you will please God and be praised by people. 19 Let us look, then, for what strengthens peace and makes us better.
20 Do not destroy the work of God because of food. All food is clean, but it it is wrong for you to make others fall by what you eat. 21 And it may be better not to eat meat, or drink wine, or anything else that causes your brother or sister to stumble.
22 Keep your own belief before God, and happy are you if you never act against your own belief. 23 Instead, whoever eats something in spite of his doubt is condemned by his conscience, because whatever we do against our conscience is sinful.
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