Romans 14:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 14:22, NIV: "So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves."

Romans 14:22, ESV: "The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves."

Romans 14:22, KJV: "Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth."

Romans 14:22, NASB: "The faith which you have, have as your own conviction before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves."

Romans 14:22, NLT: "You may believe there's nothing wrong with what you are doing, but keep it between yourself and God. Blessed are those who don't feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right."

Romans 14:22, CSB: "Whatever you believe about these things, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves."

What does Romans 14:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul has spoken very clearly to those Christians with a strong faith. These are those whose conscience allows them to freely enjoy what was once restricted for God's people in the law of Moses. He has agreed with them that nothing is unclean for those who are in Christ (1 Timothy 4:4). There is no sin in eating meat or drinking wine, then.

However, those of weaker faith who do not feel free to eat or drink the same things must not violate their conscience. They must continue to not consume those things until they are truly convinced that they are free in Christ to do so. Otherwise, they will be condemned for that sin, as the following verse will say.

That's why Paul has said to the stronger Christians that they must be willing to stop eating and drinking what they are otherwise free to consume if it will lead their weaker brothers and sisters to join in with them and sin against their own convictions.

In practical terms, this doesn't have to mean that a Christian with the freedom to do so will never eat or drink those things again (1 Corinthians 10:23–29). Perhaps they will not serve meat, or alcohol, at community dinners, or in their home when guests include religious vegetarians or non-consumers. Perhaps they will enjoy those freedoms only when they are sure not to cause anyone to stumble by their example.

In any case, Paul now writes that they should keep this faith that they are free to eat and drink these things between themselves and God. He is not saying they should keep their faith in Christ to themselves! In fact, Paul writes, these stronger-faith Christians should also listen to their consciences. If they do, they will be blessed to have no reason to condemn themselves for publicly approving something that may cause another person to stumble.