Do you have convictions or just opinions? Opinions will get you friends, but convictions will get you a future.
Crack open the dictionary to answer this question, and it only complicates things. The basic definition of a conviction is “a firmly held view or opinion.” Views and opinions are a dime a dozen. My dog, Joey, has some unyielding opinions.
Convictions must be more than a feeling. Strong feelings, without a settled judgment, commonly produce weak convictions. The crazy part is that people often have strong convictions on weak issues. Like, I will never fly coach, or I will only buy Hondas. And then there are those with weak convictions about meaty issues. Like, sex outside the Biblical confines, well not a big deal.
The Apostle Paul wrote four letters to a spineless church in Corinth. In I Corinthians 6:12 he wrote,
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be dominated by anything.
The Apostle Paul was a man of convictions. You see, he believed he could do many things, but Paul understood that does not mean he should. Dr. Howard Hendricks once said,
A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!
Two things you must know regarding the critical nature of convictions.
FIRST, CONVICTIONS DETERMINE CONDUCT.
What we hold as a conviction becomes the rudder of our lives. Every action of our life is traced back to a temporary or permanent conviction.
SECOND, CONVICTIONS DETERMINE CHARACTER.
Convictions lead to choices and choices over time build or destroy a person’s character.
The reason our culture’s moral moorings are slipping is we have exchanged our convictions for mere opinions. We are adrift due to our bland beliefs. Just knowing what you believe is an opinion but when you come to understand why you believe, you are creating a conviction. Take the needed time to process the why’s of your life.
A Christ-follower must develop and clench onto stiff-spined convictions in a world that is bathed in shades of gray.
The next move is yours.