I would like to share this wonderful video from In Touch Ministries.
The Difference Between Convictions and Preferences
Preferences are changeable and may vary throughout our lifetimes. They are beliefs we hold at present, but we could be convinced to believe something else if it seems more beneficial. Preferences don’t provide a foundation for life because they depend on circumstances, can be altered if something better is offered, and are easily abandoned in the face of temptation.
A conviction is a solid, immovable belief based on confidence in God’s Word, being so thoroughly convinced of its absolute truth that we are willing to take a stand regardless of the consequences. Convictions shape not only what we believe but also how we live and even how we die. They define who we are and provide direction with solid straight lines that don’t veer off track to accommodate circumstances or temptations.
Characteristics of a Person With Convictions
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.
Causes of Compromise of Our Convictions
Fear of Criticism. Since we live in a society in which people claim their right to do as they please, standing for our Christian convictions or telling them what God thinks or says about their conduct will undoubtedly draw criticism.
Fear of Rejection. If we share what we believe or live according to godly convictions, we may not be accepted by those who follow their own desires. However, sacrificing righteous standards to please others will only result in the loss of all that God has planned for us. It’s much better to live for Christ and follow His commandments so we can receive God’s best.
Fear of Loss. Sometimes we are reluctant to stand for our convictions because we could lose our friends. However, any friend who draws us away from obedience to the Lord is not a true friend.