From the Pastor

 

 Pastor Mike Burns

 Victory Church

 903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002) 

 MBurns@wordofvictory.org                                   

Monday, October 14, 2013 8:48 AM

Can Christian convictions be misused or abused?

Monday, October 14, 2013 8:48 AM
Monday, October 14, 2013 8:48 AM

While cultivating biblical convictions is a needful and beneficial practice, it is possible that our convictions can be misused or abused. How is this so?

1. Beware of judging your brother—Romans 14: 4; 10

We should not be quick to judge one another for differences in lifestyle and convictions. Paul makes clear in Romans 14:3-4, that the Lord is our judge, not one another. Sometimes the Lord leads some believers to do things he does not lead others to do. In Luke 6:37, Jesus warned us not to judge in the sense of condemnation. Discernment yes! Condemnation no!

2. Beware of pride and self-righteousness—Romans 12:3; 1 Corinthians 10:12

There is also the danger of becoming proud or self-righteous regarding our convictions and lifestyle. Such pride is sin and must be avoided like the plague. Godly convictions are the result of the work of God’s Word and Spirit in us and therefore nothing for which we can take pride in. We must remember Paul’s warning not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Rom. 12:3). Pride can keep us from being open to others and other points of view which we may need to hear. If our convictions are sound they can withstand re-examination. Since no one has all the truth, we should always be open to additional truth.

3. Beware of living an imbalanced life—Philippians 4: 5

In addition to appearing “holier than thou,” some come off as “weirder than thou.” Admittedly God’s ways are different than men, but they are also qualitatively superior and therefore pref­erable. Our convictions need to be in accord with God’s wisdom, not based on some odd eccen­tricity on our part. A balanced life is a healthy life. Paul said, “Let your moderation be known to all men” (Phil. 4:5a). We shouldn’t be so heavenly minded that we’re no earthly good, nor should we be so earthly minded that we are no heavenly good. Beware of being more interested in converting others to your particular conviction than converting unbelievers to Christ.

What about the need of revising or reformulating our convictions?

Paul says, “Let everyone be fully persuaded in their own mind” (Rom. 14:5). Be fully con­vinced but be humble enough to admit when you are wrong on some issues. When an issue arises that causes us to question our prior convictions and corresponding practices, we need to examine the matter thoroughly and objectively. If we wish to know the truth, we must be willing to obey it (John 17:7). We must consider not only what is lawful but what is profitable or edify­ing. We should not use our freedom as an excuse to live for ourselves rather than living for God.

Next week: What can we do in assisting others in developing their convictions?

 

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