The Measure of Faith with the Doubtful

The Measure of Faith comes to work in this concept of the “weaker in faith” and the “stronger in faith”. Now here I’ll have to do some preliminary defense of my previous (and continued) position on the measure of faith. For in the sense that some people take it (this person has more God-give-faith-power and this person has less God-given-faith-power thus I have more God-given-faith-power then X or less then Y) it starts bolstering ourselves in an area that Paul says to think soberly about. But the fact is we really don’t know the faith in another person: that’s an impossibility. All we know is the actions of another person.

I know a brother who has no problems drinking alcohol but he doesn’t drink it that often: it’s just something he doesn’t see himself spending money on. But when he went out with certain couples at my old church he would drink wine if the couple he was with didn’t make a big deal about drinking wine (negatively or positively). One time he was at this other couple’s house who were always talking about their freedoms in Christ in drinking wine and apparently made a big deal about this freedom. This brother and his wife, when offered the wine, asked for water instead: not making a big deal but merely saying in their actions “we don’t drink it”.

In that situation this brother would look very weak in faith while the two who applauded their faith seems very strong in their convictions: yet, its hard to see that knowing what I know about the brother. If anything, his refusing to drink seems to be teaching a quiet lesson which struck me as much louder than the boisterous lesson of the free-speaking couple.

So there is an aspect of faith where a person’s stance is tenuous(not so much their belief but rather their personal conviction. For while standing on the same ground that all believers stand—that being God’s mercy—they also are unsure of God’s overwhelming transforming freedom in salvation. That being the case the Christian might have strong convictions based on Scripture and definitely don’t affect God’s love and mercy or his faithfulness) and thus should be careful with their own convictions.

Whatever the direction Paul says with those weaker in faith, the addressed (or the stronger in faith) is to accept that one but not for the purpose of passing judgment on that person’s opinions.

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