My wife and I have had the privilege and challenge of training each of our four children to drive, with varying levels of success. In the process, there are many exciting memories from the driving adventures and misadventures. However, across the board, one of the most confusing concepts to teach was “Yield.” Red lights, green lights, stop signs, these are all objective lessons. “Yield,” however, is subjective. Merriam-Webster’s definition is “to give way; to cease opposition; to be no longer a hindrance or an obstacle.” I could summarize this as giving up our rights. When driving, you pause and maybe stop, or maybe not, or maybe… well, you get the picture.
- Beyond the act of driving, what things might we face in our daily activities which require the act of yielding?
READ THE WORD: ROMANS 14:13-19 (ESV)
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil.17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Identify and summarize the main issues, which are contrasted in verses 13 and 17?
- The first few words in verse 14, “I know and am persuaded…” seem to describe a process. What process might this phrase suggest?
- In verse 15, there are some alternatives presented. The first part of each sentence seems to focus on self-gratification. What act does the second part of these sentences seem to suggest?
- Verses 18 and 19 give us a reminder and a charge. Summarize these in your own words.
- In what areas of your relationships is there an opportunity to yield (to move from selfish to selfless) that you may be resisting?
RESPOND TO GOD
In this section the focus is on the act of yielding, giving up what may actually be our right or freedom. Even in the midst of this focus, there is a reminder from verse 16 that there are certain doctrines that are actually non-negotiable. We need to be certain that what we are willing to fight for is actually a non-negotiable. In the midst of disagreement, what we have the right to do may not be what we need to do. We have the privilege of experiencing the gift of yielding, giving precedence to another. When we refuse to yield, we suggest to the world that following Christ is not about righteousness, peace and joy, but about following certain rules.
- Seek to yield to God so that you might be encouraged to yield to others.