“…Each one must be fully convinced in his own mind” (Romans 14.5 HCSB).
My 13-year old son talks to me every night before he goes to bed about any worries, struggles, excitements or blessings from that day. This particular evening, I could see he had a thought that troubled him. He had earned $100 for filming and making a video for my niece’s wedding, and after paying his tithe, he had spent almost all of it on filming and gaming gadgets he had been wanting.
“I watched a TED talk, Mom,” he began. “And the guy said that we should be saving money. He said that kids my age have no concept of money and that we just spend it all without trying to set some aside.”
“Yes,” I said. “It’s good to save for a rainy day.”
“But I only $5 left from my wedding video. Was it wrong for me to spend all my money? Now I feel bad about everything I bought.”
I saw the look of doubt on his face, and instantly recognized what he was feeling. I have felt it all my life, and God had been teaching me how to break free from the cycle of cursing my own blessings.
“Wait here,” I said. “God showed me something a few days ago that I want to share with you.”
I ran downstairs and into my closet, and I kneeled down toward my highlighted Bible on the carpeted floor. I looked at my journal next to the Bible and found the chapter in Romans that I had written down with some notes. I went upstairs determined to help free my son from such a seemingly small but potent curse-prospective.
He was waiting for me in his bed, so I stood and began to read what I had highlighted: “Do you have a conviction? Keep it to yourself before God. The man who does not condemn himself by what he approves is blessed. But whoever doubts stands condemned…” (Romans 14.22-23 HCSB).
“Were you fully convinced about those items you wanted to buy? Did they make you happy and have they blessed your life?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he said, nodding his head.
“Then do not doubt it with your words or else you will ruin all your blessings that you worked hard to buy. Instead of being blessed, you will be condemned in your own heart. And then your $100 will truly be waisted. Do you understand?” I asked.
“Yes, I think I do,” he said, his expression lightening.
“As long as you are not going against God’s Word and as long as God didn’t tell you otherwise, it is completely fine to bless yourself with the money you have earned. If you want to save money next time, that will be great. But don’t curse a blessing by harboring doubt. You were fully convinced to buy those things, they made you happy, so don’t ruin the blessing by doubting.”
“I see what you’re saying!” he said, enthusiastically. “Thank you, Mom.”
I thought to myself how sad that I’m 40 and still struggling with this curse-prospective, condemning blessings with my own thoughts of doubt. Doubt is the killer of joy. I think that’s why the Bible says don’t look to the left or right because that hesitation will always lead to doubt, and doubt is certainly not of God (Proverbs 4.27). Doubt is the opposite of trust, and we are to trust our Heavenly Father because He truly loves and enjoys us.
If our choice does not go against the Bible and the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we should enjoy the blessing without allowing doubt to sneak in and destroy our joy. If Satan can’t prevent the blessing, he’ll simply try to condemn it. So don’t let him. Stand firm on your conviction and be blessed.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15.13 NLT).