Romans 9:1 (KJV)
I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
The book of Romans is a doctrinal statement concerning salvation. That context should be forever in the forefront as interpretations and applications are drawn from it. There is, however, a secondary lesson I see in this verse.
I just listened to a talk by a medical doctor. He told of meeting with a heavyset female patient with diabetes in his early days as a doctor. His first time meeting her was to tell her that he was going to have to amputate her foot. She was obviously upset and, in his youth, considered telling her that it was her own fault. “Everybody knows,” he thought to himself, “what causes diabetes. If she had eaten less and exercised more she wouldn’t be where she was.” He wisely chose not to say those words out loud. As he aged, even though he watched what he ate and exercised, he began to gain weight and developed insulin resistance. He now knows that the conventional wisdom of ten years ago isn’t as true as he thought it was back then. Eating less and exercising more doesn’t always prevent type 2 diabetes. It was good he didn’t tell her the “truth”.
People wrestle with appropriate times to tell the truth and when a “white lie” might be the more merciful thing to say.
- Is there ever a time when speaking the truth is not appropriate?
- Is it necessary to thoughtlessly blurt out what you think is the truth “For their own good”?
I see three principles in this verse concerning telling the truth:
- Speak only the truth
- Never tell a lie but
- Always let your conscience be guided by the Holy Spirit as to when and what to speak.
(The guidance of the Holy Spirit is important because a person’s conscience is not always be right. It’s not our conscience that should guide us but the Spirit of God illuminating the Word of God upon our conscience.)
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Romans 9:1 Don’t Let Your Conscience Be Your Guide
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