Christian Mens Breakfast Groups

This week I was speaking with a friend who tried to convince me to change my opinion, and resulting actions on an issue that, through prayer and study I was convicted about. I truly felt God was saying no – but this friend was urging yes. He even went so far as to suggest that if I did change, that I and my family would know the blessing and freedom of God as a result. It was a challenging conversation and I’ve been reflecting on it.

Two things to establish from the outset. I love and cherish this man. He is a man of God and a blessing to me. I respect his council and I’m happy to hear his thoughts. Secondly, the issue that we have a difference of opinion on isn’t central to the Gospel, although it certainly effects our practice and public ministry.

As I have reflected, Paul’s teaching in Romans 14 came to mind:

Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. … One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. (Romans 14:1 & 5)

I’m not wanting to make a judgment on which of us might be ‘weak in the faith,’ I’m certain neither one of us is perfect in our understanding.

While we listen to our brothers and sisters respectfully, and seek Godly council whenever appropriate, at the end of the day, we are each personally accountable to the Lord when it comes to faith and our conviction. The end of Romans 14 is helpful, and surprising, though when we think about it, it makes sense.

Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin. (Romans 14:22 – 23)

God will lead us and reward us if we remain humble, teachable and faithful. And He also calls us to maintain unity in the faith, even at times when we hold differences of opinion over what Paul calls ‘doubtful things, or disputations.’

I love it when we can speak humbly together and wrestle with areas in which we have differences of opinion. It is better than not being able to speak of them, and much better than arguing and breaking fellowship. It is hard to imagine – but it seems that it is possible that we can be ‘wrong’ even when we are right – and maybe even ‘right’ when we are wrong – so let’s make every effort to walk in humility, love and unity as we seek to learn God’s ways, and whenever convicted, let us obey in faith.