Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

“Growing In Good Conscience”

     Could you please help me understand what Paul is saying or what he means in Romans 14:23?

I Doubt I Understand

Dear I Doubt I Understand,

Romans 14 deals with issues of conscience.  Your conscience is that part of you that makes you feel good when you do what you believe is right, and it makes you feel bad when you do what you believe is wrong.  Sometimes, what you believe is right is actually wrong, or what you believe is wrong is actually right.
The Bible clearly teaches that we should attempt to learn and increase in knowledge, so we can better discern between good and evil (Heb 5:14).  However, as we grow, we won’t always have the right answers.  Perfect people have perfect knowledge, and the rest of us just have to make do with growing and trying to get better!
So what should you do when there is always the possibility that you might be wrong?  The Bible answer is to obey your conscience.  If you aren’t sure, obey your conscience.  That is what Rom 14:23 is talking about.  If you believe something is wrong (even if you might later find out it is fine), don’t do it because it will offend your conscience.  If you think something is okay (even though tomorrow you might learn it is a sin), be at peace with your decision.  God gives us a conscience as a compass while we are still learning and growing.