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. – Romans 14:15
Paul has already exhorted these Roman believers to neither judge nor cause each other to stumble. The added element in this verse that slams a believer right in the heart is the idea of no longer walking in love.
In this context, if one were tempt another believer to violate his conscience in order to follow his example, he would grieve his brother, and that would be an act of something other than love. That would be an act outside of walking in love. Implied here is that we ought to be walking in love.
There’s an urgency implied here by Paul that we need to be watchful that we are walking in love. All of our actions, including those regarding food laws, need to be evaluated by this walk. Anything that is outside the walk of love does not belong in Christianity.
Now, we need to let Scripture define what love is. Sometimes, love involves confrontation and difficult matters. It also involves patience, forbearance, humility, kindness, gentleness, encouragement, exhortation, and much more.
May we, looking through gospel lenses, informed by the word of God, evaluate all of our actions in love.
There’s also great strength behind the phrase, the one for whom Christ died. While we are to love all people, there is a special love for our fellow Christians, the fellow recipients of the grace of Christ. The world will know that we are Christians by our love for one another.