From my reading in Romans 14 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
There are many gray areas in our modern world where the Bible does not spell out in black and white what we are to do. Fortunately Paul gives us some principles to rely on in these situations.
1. Be sensitive to the convictions of the “weak in faith” even if you don’t agree.
Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. Rom 14:1
Someone who is “weak in faith” is a young or immature believer. If a young believer has a strong opinion about a gray area there may be a good reason from them to be cautious about that particular area. You should respect their conviction and don’t pressure them to do something otherwise.
2. Whatever you do, do it to honor God.
“For we don’t live for ourselves or die for ourselves. 8 If we live, it’s to honor the Lord. And if we die, it’s to honor the Lord. So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” Rom 14:7-8
Our motivation should always be to honor Christ in gray areas. A good test as to weather you should do something is to ask yourself, “will my doing this honor God?”
3. Live in a way that does not cause others to stumble.
“So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” Romans 14:13
Be loving in the way you approach gray areas as to not cause those weaker than you to stumble. This does not mean that you have to legalistically follow everything someone else thinks just because they are convicted about it. It only apples to those who are weaker than you who would stumble when hearing about you doing it.
4. Your goal should be harmony in the church.
“So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.” Rom 14:19
Harmony and unity in the church should be the goal. We should be willing to sacrifice some gray areas in order to promote further harmony in the church. It is worth it.
5. Don’t go against your personal convictions.
“But if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it. For you are not following your convictions. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” Rom 14:23
If you have doubts about something, don’t do it! If you are feeling convicted about something it may be the Holy Spirit asking you to stop.
I pray that God will give each of us wisdom about the grey areas in our lives and humility to lovingly accept the convictions of others in the body of Christ.
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