I have learnt and am learning to be wary of 2 statements:
“It was a privilege for me to lead those people to Christ tonight, thank you for the invite.” The statement isn’t about Christ or the converts or those who were the inviters, but it most definitely is about ME.
“You too can become like me!” But why would I want to leave ME and become YOU?
Paul has been focusing on the weak who condemn the strong and now he moves to balance it by saying to the strong to stop looking down on others.
The ‘disputable matters’ are meat and drinking wine which have been in contact with the idol-polluted world. For us we have a long list of ‘disputable matters’ in the Christian Church. I have used 2 verses at the start and end of the section as they are linked:
“Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister …. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.” (Romans 14 v 13, 21)
The easy bit is this: Stop being the expert on all things and in doing so judge those who have not achieved or are free to do what you have done supposedly. The humble brag is not pretty.
The expert who judges others stands in the place of God, the final authority on all things and speaks as if God was speaking. Stop it.
Don’t send people to hell; don’t write people off; don’t dismiss a person as worthless.
Then the not so easy: Stop living your life with no concern on how others will be impacted by watching you.
Not that you want to please everyone and you don’t want to offend them, otherwise what would there be left to do? But it is to allow other people to have a different conscience to you and to protect that so that you do not tempt them away to become like you. “Go on take this cream-filled cake, one won’t do your diet any harm.” But it does and you have put an obstacle of temptation in their way.
It isn’t enough to say ‘I love people’. Love is not being an expert who judges by condescending or humble brags and love is not convincing someone to do what their conscience says is wrong for them.