Making Sure

16 Therefore do not let what is for you a good thing be spoken of as evil; 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.  18 For he who in this way serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men (Romans 14).

At first glance it appears Paul is telling us to stand up for ourselves by not allowing others to speak evil of (literally, “blaspheme”) the things we think are right. But this makes no sense in the context of what Paul has been saying concerning arguments, for this would just continue an argumentative posture. No, what I believe he is saying is, “Make sure the things you think are right—are indeed right!”

And what is right? “Righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”—which comes from being “acceptable to God” first—and then being “approved by men.” This is the standard to which we measure our convictions: having the “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” For these virtues leave no room for anger and bitterness against another who holds a different opinion.

Lord, thank You for the “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” that You lavish upon us. Help us This Day to make sure we have these overflowing in our lives. Amen.