Because of the weak believer’s human tendency to judge those who don’t embrace his or her customs and convictions and also because of the strong believer’s decision to discount judgments passed by those who find fault in his or her expressions of freedom, conflict emerges and persists. The solution? Put grace into action.
Balancing Grace with Love
Conflict is pervasive. It inhabits every corner and crevice of this sin-stained world. Struggles and clashes are so common only the most solitary person will avoid them. And while we generally prefer to avoid disputes and difficulties, in conflict we also find opportunity. If we wish to learn the consistent practice of gracious living, we require the presence of others. People with different perspectives and values can challenge our ability to live with them in unity, peace, and love. Yet, as laid out clearly in Scripture, unity is the goal for believers. If we mean to work through our conflicts and live in unity, only a regular outpouring of grace and love will suffice.
God’s desire is that we, His people, fully enjoy our freedom in Christ. However, there must be self-imposed boundaries or we will become self-serving, independent-minded, and careless rebels with no regard for others. The last 11 verses of Romans 14 address this issue.