15 For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him … (Romans 14).
One of the great scenes in the movie Pan is when Robin Williams (Peter Pan) imagines their huge table filled with food, supplying ample ammunition for a great food fight. Who hasn’t at one time or another been involved in a food fight? They are always benign in nature and full of fun. Not so, however, with the sort we see here, as believers fight over what kind of food is proper to eat—using food to “hurt” and “destroy” one another. A harmless food fight may turn into hurtful mud-slinging.
Our lofty opinions concerning non-essentials can “hurt [our] brother,” “throwing him into deep sorrow.” In Revelation 9:11 “the angel of the abyss,” who is Satan himself, is named “Apollyon,” meaning “Destroyer.” This is from the same word used here where food is used to “destroy” others. How sobering a thought that we can be just like the devil himself, when we “hurt” and “destroy” others with our convictions over non-essential issues!
Lord, thank You for helping us have strong convictions about spiritual matters. But help us This Day not to use those convictions to hurt or destroy any brother or sister in Christ. Amen.