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From Immaturity to Maturity | Micah P. Hozen

From a Weak Conscience to a Strong Conscience

The Lord would have you and me and His whole flock grow up from a weak conscience to a strong conscience, and from bondage to freedom. These points are interrelated.

A weak conscience is easily offended, easily defiled. In 1 Corinthians 8:7 Paul is speaking about the nature of idols: “Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.” Someone with a weak conscience does not understand the true nature of of these things. They’re easily offended, and easily moved from their faith in Christ.

A strong conscience is not easily offended, not easily removed from the truth. Regarding the specific issue of idols, we’re told the truth about it in verse 4: “As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one.”* (1 Corinthians 8:4)

And yet when a weak child of God sees a more mature brother or sister doing something they themselves could not do with a clear conscience, they may not know how to handle it, and it becomes a stumblingblock to them. Those who have a strong, mature conscience must be considerate of those who do not. “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.”* (1 Corinthians 8:9)