Okay, so I'm pretty sure the wait for this post is probably not worth it, but oh well. Let me just say that potty training a little boy is a whole new ball game, but we'll save that for another post...
I could write many posts (and I have) on this issue, but none of them are coming out right. So the following is my abbreviated version (and yes, it's still kind of long)...
First...The story I told in the previous post may have more to do with doctrine than preferences, but the point for me was this: whether preference or doctrine, I still need to make sure I'm loving the body of Christ and others, and that the banner I'm carrying is for Jesus, and not just for a doctrine or conviction. I need to make sure I'm not compromising on the big stuff, but also not looking down in judgment on those that are still working their way through new doctrines or convictions. God is at work, and we are all in different stages of that work, right?
Next...on the issue of preferences (i.e., personal choices and convictions that are not clearly delineated for us in God's Word); let me give you some examples (not exhaustive) taken from my pastor's sermon series entitled "Thinking Biblically, Living Graciously" (which I highly recommend you listen to here).
~Entertainment: what movies should I watch/ is TV or cable okay/ what about playing cards or pool/ computer games/ video games, etc...
~ Exterior Personal Appearance: what should I wear/ how about jewelry/ make-up/ hair--to dye or not to dye, highlight/ (I'll add: body piercing, tattoos)
~ Music: what kind of music is okay/ what about the type of music in a worship service-hymns or choruses, worship team or not
~ Parenting: will it be dating, or courting, or betrothal...:)/ "time-out" or not
~ Education: how should I educate my child? homeschool, private school, public school, military school,
~Birth Control: yay or nay/ what kind
~Birthing Options: hospital/ at home/ at a birthing center/ in a car (just kidding)
~Medical Issues: Life support/ Immunizations
~Politics: should I be a democrat or a republican/ should I say the pledge of allegiance
~Holidays: santa? Halloween? easter bunny?
~Food: what foods should I eat...raw or cooked? processed or not? etc...
~Environmental issues: are you green, or light green, or neither
~Money: how much debt is okay/ savings/ giving/
So I'm just giving you this short list to give you an idea of the decisions we all make day in and day out, that are preferences and personal convictions, but that may not be clearly stated in Scripture.
"What's the point?" you may ask? To help us evaluate our convictions in light of Scripture, and to make sure we are being careful not to lift up our own preferences in such a way that we are insisting it is the Godly standard for everyone.
Some Scriptures you may refer to are: Romans 8-9 and 1 Corinthians 8, to start (you will find many more that are encouraging in these areas as you begin to look into it).
I'll leave you with one final quote from my pastor,
"If we spoke as much about the Gospel as we do about our personal opinions, we'd have a great impact. I suggest to you that's what we need to do."