From the Pastor
Pastor Mike Burns
903.567.2072 (Ext. 3002)
Can Christian convictions be misused or abused?
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
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
Published on Monday, October 14, 2013 @ 8:48 AM CDT