September 13

Romans 14:1-12

Matthew 18:21-35

 How many referees control a rugby league game? One or two? Or, with the video ref, is it three? But to listen to the broadcast commentaries it sounds as though there are at least six or seven. Sometimes it seems that every spectator at the game is a self-appointed referee. But how many referees are there in the game of life?  The way people criticize and condemn one another, one might think that everyone has the right to referee everyone else’s life.

The administration of this game called life is clearly in the hands of God who not only wrote the rules but also referees the game. Accept it. It is not for you or me to send a player off to the sin-bin. That is God’s prerogative.

And if you are a player in the game and another player hurts you, it is not for you to seek revenge; it’s for you to get on with the game. Grudge matches or revenge attacks are not in the spirit of the game. Translated into inter-personal relations, that means forgiving the person who asks for your forgiveness and refraining from condemning the person who thinks differently from you. If you are in Christ’s team, let him decide who is in or out – not you. And if you have been hurt by another, remember whose side you are on – God who has forgiven you.

  • Holding grudges is bad for your health. Is that true?
  • Can one forgive another if the other person shows no remorse?
  • When Paul wrote Romans, the issue was the eating of meat slaughtered in sacrifice to pagan gods. On what issues today are people condemned by their fellow Christians?
  • Where lies the key to Christian unity?