Differing Convictions

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We are to support, not judge, each other's walk with Christ.

1 Corinthians 8

Although eating meat offered to idols is not a controversial subject today, 1 Corinthians 8 could cause us to wonder if God has double standards for Christian behavior. How can we reconcile differing convictions among believers?

First, we must acknowledge that some moral truths are evident to everyone. These are fixed and will not change, regardless of the situation. But other convictions are based on knowledge or beliefs. These will vary from person to person.

The conscience isn’t static. Rather, it grows according to the truth one hears and receives. When you first became a Christian, you probably had no hesitation about activities, thoughts, or attitudes that you now consider unacceptable. As your knowledge of God and His Word has grown, so has your conscience. Since we all mature at different rates, each person’s conscience is based upon his or her own understanding and personal weaknesses. In these variable areas, what is wrong for one believer may be acceptable for another.

So how are we to live with those whose convictions may not match ours? We must first realize that it is not our job to convict or judge them. The Holy Spirit guides each believer in the way he or she should go. 

What a marvelous display of God’s love for us. He designs a path for each life and gives a conscience with sensitivity based upon His intimate knowledge of that individual. Our job is to grow in truth, listen for His personalized direction, and support fellow believers in their walk.

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