Updated: Mar 24
Jeremiah 9:23-24, "Thus says the Lord, "Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord."
We are to be people with convictions. "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1 As Christians, we have the Word of God and the Holy Spirit within us to lead us and convict us in what is right. There are some convictions that we should usually have the same as other believers such as the inerrancy of the Bible and salvation, but there is room for people to have a lot of convictions that are personal decisions that will look different for each individual.
I have some strong convictions, but I am also convicted to be quiet about my convictions as much as I can. I know that there are times when sharing our convictions and our decisions in life are helpful to others--which is one of the reasons I decided to enter back into the online world, but there are times when our convictions might become a burden to others. They do not need to have the same convictions as us.
1 Thessalonians 4:10-11 says, "...you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another...we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands as we instructed you." I do believe we should focus primarily on loving others and sometimes the most loving thing to do is to live quietly, mind our business, and do our work. Just because we determine to be quiet about our convictions does not mean that your conviction is weak. It might actually mean the opposite--that you are sure, strong, and grounded in it with the Lord and you do not have to seek the affirmation and validation from others.
Before we share our convictions, we should always ask ourselves if it is going to be loving and helpful to the other person. We determine to share our lives in a way that builds others up and does not tear them down. I often go to Romans 14, which addresses the topic of judging others. This chapter is powerful to keep me in the right mind frame regarding my convictions and others' convictions. Here are a few quotes from that chapter:
"Welcome others, but not to quarrel over opinions." v.1
"Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." v.5
"So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." v.12
"Therefore, let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother." v.13
"So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil." v.16
"For the kingdom of God is not a matter of [our personal convictions] but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." v.17
"Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men." v.18
"So then, let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding." v.19
"Do not, for the sake of [your conviction], destroy the work of God." v.20
"The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves." v.22
"We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up." v.15:2
Finally, we should always desire to share Jesus more than any opinion, conviction, or decision. I would rather Jesus be my identity than other convictions and soapboxes I have in my life. "Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 1:31 and 2 Corinthians 10:17