Should you draw or erase the line for someone else? Should you allow your sacrifices to be forced on other people in that they have to make the same ones without really deciding?
You and your friends live in an apartment. You meet someone on the street who is going through a rough period. Your heart goes out to him so you invite him to come and stay at the apartment for a few nights to help him get back into the swing of things. At first your other friends are all over the opportunity but now, four days later they are wishing he was gone. Somehow God gave you more patience and a heart for this guy and you really feel like he needs to stay with you for a bit longer. What do you now do? Do you sacrifice listening to the wishes of your friends who you live with? Or do you sacrifice the room and the food that you will be giving him as to abide by your friends? Who becomes more important? Do I have a right to make decisions when my friends should be accommodating or not? If I allow him to stay is it almost like I’m trying to teach my friends a lesson and telling them how they should feel towards people?
Paul (the apostle) has been invited over with all his Jewish friends to their Gentile friend’s house. Paul has certain convictions about eating meat that his Gentile friends don’t necessarily have which gives him the freedom to eat the meat served before him. Yet at the same time when he’s with either friend he either eats meet or doesn’t eat depending on their convictions. Meat is served before him, what does he do? Without making it sound like a war, who does he side with? Does he eat meat and basically tell his Jewish friends they are over reacting and just to suck it up? Or Does he refrain and in return say to his Gentile friends he is too good for their meat and they are doing something wrong?
These are the kind of situations I find myself in lately. I’m having a hard time deciding what I should do because it makes me feel like I’m making decisions for other people without them knowing it. Especially in the first example. If I allowed this homeless man to stay with me, it feels as if I’m taking my convictions and pushing them on all my roommates which I don’t feel very comfortable in doing. I feel also that these situations will arise a lot more in the future being married. I don’t want to force her or be forced into situations where the other person has to accommodate and feel that they are lesser because they don’t feel the same way. Or should we?
What do you think? Any advice?