After wisdom, comes the need for conviction. Wisdom will get you so far, it is a trustworthy guide but wisdom is not all knowing; it is the practical application of acquired knowledge. Conviction is a step beyond that. Conviction can only be accessed through a heart which is softened by God. It is the pull of the Holy Spirit towards what is best, towards what is God-glorifying. It must also be read through the eyes of wisdom and listened to with a prayerful mind, but once it is confirmed it must be followed.
Next we must ask, what is “this way” mentioned in Romans 14:18 which pleases God and is approved by men?
The passage continues with a few sentences concerning the Lord’s Day – which is something we cannot get into right away, but it is a very important detail: the difference between calling it Sabbath and the Lord’s day.
In verse 5 there is a statement which begins to set the next major requirement for our actions concerning gray matters: “each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
Paul does not take conviction lightly: v22 “so whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves.”
If you are the only one testing wisdom and conviction outside of a community of believers, failure is not an option, it is a certainty. There is a very clear warning here for a very real temptation, do not condemn yourself.