The following is a "Youth Devotional" from Josh McDowell posted today at josh.org.
Bible Reading: Romans 14:1-4
Who are you to condemn God’s servants? They are responsible to the Lord, so let him tell them whether they are right or wrong. The Lord’s power will help them do as they should. Romans 14:4
THINK ABOUT THE following questions. How would you answer each one?
• Which of the following is better: Coca-Cola or Pepsi?
• Which color is prettier: blue or green?
• Who’s funnier: Donald Duck or Daffy Duck?
• Which fruit is tastier: an apple or an orange?
• Which is more fun: waterskiing or white-water rafting?
• Who’s a better singer: Mariah Carey or Celine Dion?
So, did you answer all the questions? Which answers are right? The truth is, either answer for each question may be right. Or neither.
How can that be? Well, you may prefer Coke; your friend may like Pepsi better. You may think Donald Duck is hilarious, while your friend gets hysterical just thinking about Daffy Duck. You may like apples, your friend may like oranges. In fact, you may like them both about the same, or you may hate both apples and oranges and go ape over bananas instead!
That’s because Coke vs. Pepsi and Donald and Daffy are matters of taste and opinion. There is no right or wrong answer. It’s up to you. But that doesn’t mean everything is like that. If the question had been, “Which of the following is a Disney character: Donald Duck or Daffy Duck?” the answer would not be up to you. There is a right answer-Donald is a Disney character; Daffy is a Warner Brothers/Looney Tunes creation. If the question was, “Which of the following is a primary color: blue or green?” the answer would not be a matter of taste. After all, blue is a primary color. Green is a secondary color created by mixing blue and yellow.
Of course, a lot of people get confused and think that right and wrong are just like apples and oranges. “You think it’s wrong to do this,” they may say, “but I have a different opinion.” But God clearly tells us in his Word what things are right (like attending church regularly-see Hebrews 10:25). He also leaves some decisions up to us (like which church we choose to attend). The important thing is not to confuse the two; if God has said something is wrong, we should not say otherwise.
REFLECT: Do you ever act like the standards of right and wrong are up to you to decide? Why or why not?
ACT: Eat an apple or orange as a snack or with your lunch today to remind you not to confuse matters of taste with matters of truth.
PRAY: “God, help me to choose your standards as my standards so that I can maintain a clear conscience before you and everyone else.”