Romans 12.16 Be not wise in your own conceits.
Let me show you a couple of other translations on this verse: And don’t think you know it all! (NLT) Be not wise in your own estimation.(HCSB) Do not be conceited.(NIV)
In chapter 14 of Romans, Paul deals with saints within the body who hold to different convictions on various issues. The biblical principle taught there is as much needed in our day and age as it was in Paul’s day. Listen to what Paul writes about personal convictions: Accept the one whose faith is weak, without quarreling over disputable matters. One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them. Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand. One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind.
As you read the rest of the chapter, we are presented with the higher principle of not flaunting my personal conviction. If a brother or sister is offended, or made weak by your actions of which you have no conviction of wrongdoing, you must keep that to yourself and not flaunt it in front of them. That sounds very simple to understand. But here is the reality of personal convictions. Every one of us is absolutely convinced that our personal conviction should become the 11th Commandment for everyone else. Thus, being wise in our own conceits (which we are told to avoid), we write blogs about our personal convictions and why our view is the correct one. By doing so, we usually alienate those with other views. Human nature being as it is, we end up rejecting the other brother or sister instead of their conviction. Can a Christian own a television, or have cable? Can a Christian listen to instrumental, secular music? Can a Christian drink a glass of wine in the privacy of his own home? Should a Christian attend a secular school or college? The list is as long as there are people in the body of Christ.
Beloved, if something is not a direct and flat out sin that is clearly seen in Scripture, do what Paul says. For love’s sake, and as much as possible, do not flaunt that liberty in front of another Christian whom you know will be hurt or stumbled by it. Please do not be argumentative and obnoxious. Make sure you have a clear conscience before God what you are allowing yourself to do. Never justify what God clearly says is sin. Lastly, do not make your conviction regarding your dinner of herbs or steak sandwich become the 11th commandment for the rest of the body of Christ. Do not be wise in your own. Selah.