G. Campbell Morgan tells a story about the great English actor William Charles Macready who was once approached by an eminent preacher of his day.
“I wish you would explain to me something,” asked the preacher.
Well, what is it? I don’t know that I can explain anything to a preacher,” replied Macready.
“What is the reason for the difference between you and me? You are appearing before crowds night after night with fiction, and the crowds come wherever you go. I am preaching the essential and unchangeable truth, and I am not getting any crowd at all.”
Macready’s answer was this: “This is quite simple. I can tell you the difference between us. I present my fiction as though it were truth; you present your truth as though it were fiction.”
Our word of the week is “conviction.”
The Bible says that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).
The important things of life are not things. They are unseen. They are spiritual. Moral. Ethical. Like the roots of a tree embedded deep into the ground, they reach deep into the soul. Into the heart of an individual.
Dictionaries usually define “conviction” as a fixed or strong belief.” I like the definition of conviction by Howard Hendricks: “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!”
“Conviction is more than a whim, guess or an opinion,” wrote WordPoints author and evangelist, Gary Henry. “It’s an element deep down in a person’s belief system, a part of that very person’s principles. And people of strong conviction would rather die than compromise the principles they’re convicted of.”
Your convictions are based on your values. Are your values Biblical driven? Do your values honor God? Do they benefit and bless others? Do they deal with moral and ethical choices honestly? Do they provide your life with meaning, purpose, and significance? Do they transcend this life?
If you can answer “yes” to all the above questions, you are probably developing deep convictions about the important issues in life.
The Apostle Paul was a man of deep convictions. “For this reason, I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day” (2 Tim. 1:12). When you have convictions, you are willing to sacrifice. To suffer. To endure any hardship, any slight, or any inconvenience for a cause you deeply believe in.
Convictions lead us to make serious commitments. Conviction driven Christians are committed to Christ. To following Him. To obeying His Word. And to becoming conformed to His image, attitudes, and behavior.
Convictions provide the proper motivation for our decisions. They determine our conduct. They move us in the right direction. They cause us to take a stand. To do what is right.
Conviction driven Christians are not easily dissuaded. They are not susceptible to changing cultural values or shifting societal beliefs. They’re not influenced by popular fads.
When we develop the mature convictions “Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming” (Eph 4:14)
“Being conviction driven is doing the right things for the right reasons,” wrote Ken Blanchard. “Beliefs and convictions provide the boundaries and direction that people want and need in order to perform well.”
Develop convictions that are Bible based, faith driven, and God centered. And they will serve you well.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman