Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. (Romans 14:5)
The church does a great job of beating itself up. We’ve majored on finding flaws and correcting our brother. For every sermon preached in the spirit of Jesus there is another one correcting someone’s “error”.
I’m just as guilty. Instead of seeing the Lord in my brother, I’ve spent too much time being distracted by his flesh. This is my fault, not his.
You see, Paul wants us to realize that there are different kinds of faith. One has faith to eat whatever he wants. Another, faith for just vegetables. The one who eats is to not judge or condemn the one who doesn’t. God has accepted them both.
Being convinced is the key. If we do something because someone else is convinced of it, and we are not, we do not live by faith. Instead, we live for or by someone else.
And whatever is not from faith is sin. (Romans 14:23)
This is the unfortunate culture we’ve created in the church. A few convinced people trying really hard to convince others of what they’re convinced of. Faith does not grow in a “I will convince you” environment.
Faith grows in a culture of love. When we love our brother, we free them to be impressed upon by the anointing of the Lord. HE becomes the convincer. We, then, can relax and walk our walk of faith.
There is a broken ideal in the church that we all have to believe the same. So we spend precious energy attempting to convince others of the “rightness” of our beliefs and the “wrongness” of theirs.
It is not about who is right and who is wrong. It’s about where each of us is in our journey toward Christ.
Instead, we are to be encouraging one another in their faith. Spend your time building up your brother. Fix your eyes on Jesus in him. Even if there is gross sin in his life, speaking life to him will open his heart to the Convincer.
Yes, we are to have one faith. That faith is in one Lord. The rest is about allowing HIM to convince us of what is important for us.
I have come to learn that faith is not generic. It’s as unique as each of us. This allows for a dynamic, engaging, many-membered body.
So, take it easy on your brother. His walk of faith is different than yours. Spend more time being fully convinced in your own faith.
That will inspire the rest of us to do the same.