walk in the word
Conviction. That is an old word, isn’t it? Let’s blow the dust off. A conviction is a deeply held belief that I will not alter no matter what the pressure. Now many people think they have convictions, but what they really have are general, unspoken intentions to do the right thing. Then, in the heat of the moment, they act in a way that does not reflect their intention. I have failed in that regard. Have you?
Convictions are more specific and measurable than intentions. A conviction is born when I take biblical commands and apply them authoritatively to a specific situation in my life. For instance:
These are some convictions that I have taken from God’s Word and built into my life over the years. Do you have any convictions like that?
How do convictions help? Sometimes life can be very draining because, like a maze, there is the prospect of a right or wrong choice at every single turn. “God, how should I respond here? What should I say? What should I do? How should I handle this circumstance?”
Living by convictions is like placing yourself under protective custody. But rather than imprisoning you, they really set you free. They free you from the tyranny of wrong choices—the anguish that comes from the constant struggle to choose. You find yourself in a certain situation and, rather than having to decide on the spur of the moment, you simply refer back to the list of convictions that you have developed for your life. You say, “This is what I do in this situation. This is how I handle myself. The decision has already been made.”
A little warning here: make sure you base your convictions on properly interpreted Scripture, not simply on your own opinion or preference. People have had deeply held convictions over some pretty silly things. When I was growing up, some of the common convictions were: women should not wear pants; men should have short hair (not much a problem for me these days!); Christians should not go to movies, etc. Oftentimes, these were based more on tradition and personal opinion rather than a proper understanding of what Scripture teaches.
I challenge you to place yourself in protective custody. Make some binding choices about how God wants you to live. “These are the things that I value. This is the kind of person that I’m going to be. These are the choices I am going to make.” Start with the list above and use it as an example. Convictions are protection. Convictions are security. Convictions are objective guidance. My prayer for you every week is that is that you come away from these Weekly Walks with some personal convictions. What convictions will you establish today?
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