As Christians, we should have some godly convictions that define who we are and determine our lifestyle and choices. We may claim that our convictions are a private matter; but in reality, they are constantly on display for all to see because we live them out each day with our words and actions. God has given us standards and principles from His Word to protect us and to guide us, and, ultimately, to help us to lead godly lives. Since our convictions have such a powerful influence, we must examine them to see whether they contribute to a righteous life in accordance with God’s will or are leading us into a life dominated by our old fleshly nature.
Characteristics of a Person With Convictions
Our goal as believers is to become like Peter and John who held firmly to their faith in Christ and to their responsibility to proclaim salvation in His name, even in the face of imprisonment and threats. When we follow in their footsteps, we will display the following characteristics:
A Sense of Purpose. We know where we’re headed and walk a definite path to get there by pursuing those things that fit our identity in Christ and rejecting those that do not. Instead of going with the crowd or seeking profit or pleasure, we follow basic biblical principles, seeking to walk in God’s will and abstain from the sins that surround us in our culture.
Faith in God. The strength that enables us to live out our convictions without compromise comes from faith in Christ as our Savior and in the truth of God’s Word.
Courage. It’s easy to stand for our convictions when we’re among like-minded people in church, but if we are surrounded by those who think Christians are narrow-minded and foolish, we need courage to stand alone as followers of Jesus Christ and proclaim the truth of God’s Word.
Big Picture Thinking. Before surrendering our convictions or denying what we truly believe, we must look ahead to see the long-term effects of compromise in our lives and in those who watch or listen to us.
Unusual Strength. When we were saved, the Holy Spirit came to seal us as children of God and live within us (Eph. 4:30). He is our Helper who enables us to understand truth and gives us the physical, spiritual, mental, and moral strength to do what’s right when we are tested and tried (John 14:26). We are never alone when we stand for our convictions because God’s Spirit is always present with us.
Foresight. With the Holy Spirit living within us, we also have the foresight and discernment to recognize deception. Things are not always as they appear to be, and the world’s promises of happiness, prosperity, and pleasure for those who compromise their convictions are a lie. God has given us His Word to teach us how to live, and the safest way is to abide under its authority. If we base our convictions on our own ideas, desires, pleasures, comfort, or satisfaction, we are headed for disaster.
Living under God-given, righteous convictions is the only way to avoid the sin and heartache that comes from adopting our culture’s ways and values. What unwavering convictions do you have that govern your life? Be sure to know what you stand for before the enemy tries to tempt you to compromise.
This article was originally published on May 29, 2016, and is adapted from the Sermon Notes for Dr. Stanley’s message “Your Personal Convictions” which airs this weekend on TV.