For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding. Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God.
A few verses before this one, Paul is talking about not causing each other to stumble in regards to disagreeing on food and drink. But “the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking”. In fact, it’s about “righteousness and peace and joy” that can only, most certainly only, be found in the Holy Spirit.
Satisfaction when things go right is fleeting, just momentary. True satisfaction and joy comes only through God, and if you’ve felt it before, you’d know. Trying to find satisfaction in anything else will lead to disappointment, and continuing to do it over and over again will just keep pushing you to the same end. Paul tells us not to quarrel over “food and drink,” the petty things in this life because there are things much more important. We’re talking about righteousness, peace, and joy here…things that can’t be bought, given, or earned. There are people who are dying, starving, who don’t know the Gospel, who won’t make it to the end of the finish line, and here we are, expending our energy and time on trying to satisfy every little need.
Make the decision that will bring peace. The decision that will bring joy. Make the decision that will build up the entire body of Christ, even if it means self-sacrifice. I’m not going to get stuck on the little things when the eternal things are at risk. If this is causing your brother/sister to stumble and grieve over it, then just take the stumbling block away. Deal with it and let it go.
The body of Christ is more than just you and me, or me and her, or you and him, or whoever. It’s us as a collective whole. Make the decision to bring peace and mutual upbuilding to the entire body, never destroying the work of God.
“If you don’t understand that Christ is the essence of your life, that your hope, your future, your joy, your power are in Christ, you will either become arrogant trying to be a trunk, or you will become discouraged knowing that you can’t change your life, and you can’t do all that you’re supposed to do and be all that you’re supposed to be. But if you understand that your identity’s in Christ, then suddenly you understand that your hope is in Christ, and your power is in Christ, and your fruitfulness is in Christ, and that gives you great courage, and it also gives you great humility. “I can change by the grace of God.”