How can I find agreement with others without compromising my convictions? - Agreement - TouchPoints

How can I find agreement with others without compromising my convictions?

Daniel 1:8, 12-15Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food . . . He asked . . . permission not to eat these unacceptable foods . . . “Please test us for ten days on a diet of vegetables and water,” Daniel said . . . The attendant agreed to Daniel’s suggestion . . . At the end of the ten days, Daniel . . . looked healthier and better nourished than the young men who had been eating the food assigned by the king.

When we are trying to reach an agreement with someone else, there is a time to compromise and a time to hold firm. When those opposed to God want their way, we cannot budge. To compromise God’s truth, God’s ways, or God’s Word is to accept what is unholy. The test of acceptable compromise is simple: Can two parties reach a mutually satisfactory agreement without either party sacrificing his or her morals? To give up godliness for anything is a bad bargain. Work for harmony and agreement wherever possible, and where that is not possible, pray that God would provide the strength and wisdom to follow his direction.

Romans 14:1-6, 10, 20-23Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don't argue with them about what they think is right or wrong. [2] For instance, one person believes it's all right to eat anything. But another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables. [3] Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them. [4] Who are you to condemn someone else's servants? Their own master will judge whether they stand or fall. And with the Lord's help, they will stand and receive his approval. [5] In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable. [6] Those who worship the Lord on a special day do it to honor him. Those who eat any kind of food do so to honor the Lord, since they give thanks to God before eating. And those who refuse to eat certain foods also want to please the Lord and give thanks to God. [10] So why do you condemn another believer? Why do you look down on another believer? Remember, we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. [20] Don't tear apart the work of God over what you eat. Remember, all foods are acceptable, but it is wrong to eat something if it makes another person stumble. [21] It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything else if it might cause another believer to stumble. [22] You may believe there's nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don't feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. [23] 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.

Some issues are a matter of personal conscience. One Christian may abstain from alcohol, whereas another may drink a glass of wine daily. Rather than judge each other for being “stuffy” or “lax,” we should believe the best of others’ motives. The person who drinks alcohol may do it in small quantities for health benefits (1 Timothy 5:23), and is being a wise and grateful steward over what God has given. The person who abstains may have a personal or family history with alcoholism, or maybe they experienced a tragedy caused by driving under the influence. Their firm stance on alcohol may be out of a desire to protect those they love. In such situations, Scripture advises each of us to follow our conscience and to respect the consciences of others. The person who drinks wine might choose not to drink wine while having dinner with the one who abstains, out of respect for their friend’s conscience. This respect of the “stronger” conscience for the “weaker” conscience is part of a believer’s call to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).

Ephesians 4:15-16Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. [16] He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.