As most gyms across the country have been closed due to the Coronavirus, anyone who wants to exercise needs to be creative. Perhaps, you might go old school, doing sets of push ups and sit ups at home. Others might have the luxury of an exercise bike. rowing machine or stair master sitting around the house. Whatever you decide, exercising your personal convictions require a little more discipline.
Your personal convictions [on such matters]—exercise [them] as in God’s presence, keeping them to yourself [striving only to know the truth and obey His will]. Blessed (happy, to be envied) is he who has no reason to judge himself for what he approves [who does not convict himself by what he chooses to do], Romans 14:22.
During the first century, Jews who converted to Christianity often faced internal struggles. When you are taught specific guidelines on what to eat and what not to at an early age, spiritual freedom can be dangerous. Does a conscientious individual disregard everything that they have been taught or be open to eating that which was once considered unclean.? This issue appears to be important to the apostle Paul, spending nearly two chapters in his letter to the church of Rome on exercising convictions.
But the man who has doubts (misgivings, an uneasy conscience) about eating, and then eats [perhaps because of you], stands condemned [before God], because he is not true to his convictions and he does not act from faith. For whatever does not originate and proceed from faith is sin [whatever is done without a conviction of its approval by God is sinful], Romans 14:23.
The passage above likely struck a nerve. When convictions do not originate and proceed from God, Paul considers this a sinful act. Doubts have a way of infiltrating your personal convictions. If you are not firm or easily persuaded by others, you become vulnerable. The key is holding fast to your beliefs is taking God with you while making a decision. If you exclude God from your thought life, obeying God’s will be compromised. Thus, the more you exercise your convictions, the easier it becomes to walk in faith.
by Jay Mankus