To continue my last post, I read on a bit and found:
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
Romans 15 :1-2
Aha! Now that is making more sense to me. Setting aside speculation on whether I am one of the strong or one of the weak (which actually may change from day to day and from situation to situation) I can see that the whole process is done for my brother’s good, to build him up!
So it’s not a matter of saying, “Sure, I’ll change whatever you want,” to any random request. Instead, it boils down to looking carefully at the situation and checking with the Holy Spirit. I need to examine my life occasionally, noting areas where there are differences from other Christians around me, and evaluate whether some area where I exercise freedom might cause others to stumble. Just as Angels Aware mentioned in a comment on the last post, perhaps a parent’s use of alcohol could give their children the impression that drinking is fine. That parent may need to be more careful to talk with their children and explain what is acceptable and what isn’t, as well as examining their own attitudes toward alcohol a little more carefully. If you have a passion for watching sports, make sure that your children know that going to worship service is a bigger priority for you than watching the game. Show them that they are more important to you than watching the game.
Let’s exemplify what is best for each other, and build each other up in the Lord!