Early this spring, my oldest son helped us plant the garden.  As he saw us hoeing the ground, he wanted to do the same, but we warned him not to hoe the ground we had already planted.  Once the plants started to grow, we had a whole new problem- weeds.  As I started to pull weeds, my young helper saw what I was doing and like so many little boys, he copied his father.  Unfortunately, instead of pulling a weed, he pulled a newly sprouted zucchini.  
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Sometimes we as Christians are like little boys in the garden.  We end up digging up seeds before they have started to grow, or we stop growth before the plant even gets solid roots.  In other words, our actions may end up discouraging unbelievers from wanting to learn more about Christ or they may hinder new believers from growing more faithful to Him.
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Paul dealt with the issue of immature believers in Romans 14.  There were some who thought that they couldn’t eat certain meats, but mature believers understood the truth of I Timothy 4:4, “For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving”.  Even though there was nothing wrong with eating meat, Paul showed that it was good to avoid it so that the immature brother would not stumble (Romans 14:21). 
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Imagine if all the men in your church decided to grow beards for a centennial celebration and at that same time an Amish man trusted Christ and started to attend.  Since married Amish men are expected to have beards, the men of the church might decide to apply the principles of Romans 14 and keep their beards as not to offend their new brothers weak conscience.
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Suddenly the church has a new challenge.  Should wearing beards become a new requirement for the assembly?  If that is made a requirement, what will be the next issue that comes up?  Soon there will be a whole list of things that have to be done so that someone’s weak conscience is not offended.  Soon the things on the list will contradict each other and even scripture. 
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A closer reading of Romans 14 solves the problem.  First of all, verse 3 shows that with the original issue of eating meat, the person that was offended by eating meat should not despise the one who ate it, nor was the one who ate it to despise the one who didn’t.  In other words, don’t nit pick each others behavior in things which the scripture does not require or forbid.
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Then we find a very important follow up in Romans 16 where Paul clearly states, “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).  In other words, if someone becomes divisive over an issue that is not commanded or forbidden by scripture, we are to mark them and avoid them.
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Romans 14 was addressed to those who were dealing with someone who was weak in the faith- an immature believer.  They were to be given time to get their roots and grow in maturity, but during that time they were to be taught proper doctrine.  If the new believer thought eating meat was wrong, and they saw other Christians doing that, it would’ve stunted their early spiritual growth.  Because they were still immature in the faith, they were not ready to take that all in, but as they grew they needed to learn what was and what was not expected of them.  They needed to learn Bible doctrine so they could teach others rather than dividing the body.  Have you been studying the Word, so you can understand what God really does expect?