By Jane Watrich
We are living in a time where we are daily faced with challenges to our faith. This is nothing new. Throughout history, believers were faced with opposition to their faith and many suffered persecution and even death for taking a stand on what they believe. How did they know what to believe? What drove them to take such decisive stands? It was a truth, a revelation of God’s word, that went deep into the fiber of their souls. A truth with such conviction that it produced transformation within and a strength to stand when others would bow.
When God’s thoughts and His word are important to us, they provide more weight on the truth that brings conviction in our hearts. We begin to allow the word to teach us, to bring wise instruction to us. We realize the Bible isn’t about dos and don’ts, but it is about living life to the fullest; living life in peace within and also on the outside. When our ways align with God’s values it silences the battle in us and often stifles the battle around us.
We learn the value of “let no unwholesome word proceed out of your mouth” and allow conviction to stop the swear words we formerly allowed. It’s blessing those we contend with as we get the revelation of “do good to those who hate you and spitefully mistreat you”. It’s praying for leaders of churches, cities and nations as we “first of all make prayer and petition for those in authority”. It’s working honorably, diligently, respecting our employers by being on time, not taking advantage of extending lunch hours and coffee breaks and doing a solid good effort as we “do our work heartily for the Lord”, not for man, or just for the paycheque.
As we allow Holy Spirit and the word of God to convict us, we will hear the voice of wisdom, we will feel the nudges of Holy Spirit, and we will grow in the ability to stand for truth and to be transformed by that truth.
Without conviction, we live with compromise. We ignore the higher standards of living and self- justify why we do what we do. We engage with entitlement, we demand our right to make our own decisions based on our own desires and appetites, and we lose the ability to grow into a mature, dynamic faith.
Compromise defaults us to the lowest common denominator. It is easy to choose compromise over conviction. There is no challenge to slip into its comforts. It’s easy but costly. Living with compromise is like taking a long-term loan - easy to get, but one is forever in bondage to its demands until every cent of interest is paid.
Conviction is using discipline now for long term benefits and rewards. Compromise is taking lesser benefits now and paying weighty costs long term. Every day we choose conviction or compromise.
The more we invest ourselves to read God’s word, to allow it to teach us and to allow it to change us, the easier it is to choose conviction over compromise.
Take time to read or listen to the Bible. Take time to let Holy Spirit speak to you. Pay attention to the inner voice as you reach for the item you know is best not to buy or eat. Stop yourself from speaking that word you know will not bring peace or encouragement to yourself or to those who hear you. Let conviction have its work in you to build you up, to strengthen your faith, to give you courage and to bring you peace and blessing.
“And when the Holy Spirit comes, He will lead you into all truth” (John 16:13)