Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Convicted By Convictions

Tim opposed it so strongly he walked out on something he desperately needed.

Tim was my neighbor during college. He and I worked at a local grocery store earning desperately needed funds. Then the state legalized the lottery. Tim hated gambling, and his convictions finally got the best of him. “I’m quitting,” he said as he brushed past me.

Not everyone shares Tim’s convictions, but at least he had some. James wrote to those who don’t-or who waver, and cautioned; But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind (James 1:6).

When snuggled in the context of prayer, it simply means we waste our time and God’s by praying for things we aren’t convicted can or will happen. Some ask God for a partner but doubt his ability to supply one. Others request employment but suspect God’s not Job Service.

But prior to prayer comes the convictions themselves. Multitudes have few and the ones they have are subject to reevaluation depending on circumstances. What’s right or wrong depends on the situation or me. And what’s right for me is not necessarily so for you. Not hard to see how the world and my personal life would deteriorate by adopting that philosophy.

So I decided to have some-convictions that is. And I plan to keep them until death we do part. A few are: God is real and loved me enough to allow his Son to die for my sins. His commands are nonnegotiable. What he originally said was wrong still is and always will be. As is what he designated right. And he and others deserve my unmitigated love.

Holding convictions based on God’s truth may be unpopular, but I’d rather be popular with the One who controls my life and prepares my eternity. What convictions do you need to establish or resurrect?

Prayer: Merciful Father, help us be people of conviction who will stand for You even if it requires standing alone.


  1. I'm finding that convictions are a new idea for many in my children's generation. Preferences have replaced them, and preferences can easily be changed. I know you are not supposed to read a devotion and apply it to someone else instead of yourself, but I fear convictions are becoming a thing of the past which makes those of us raised with them less likely to keep them too!
    Thanks for sharing this. Gail

  2. I'm visiting from blog hop. I agree with your post. Absolutes and convictions are difficult to find in this world. As Christians we have to be willing to stand firm, even when those around us aren't. I also agree with Gail's comment, and it saddens me to see this, even within my own family.

  3. Well said, Martin. I've heard a conviction described as something you would be willing to die for. With that litmus test, we know our convictions must be based on the truth of God's word. With that as our basis, we know God will give us the courage to stand for what's right, even if it costs us, 'cause God's got our back. Thanks for a thought-provoking post.