The world needs people who have convictions. We look up to people with conviction, people with immovable beliefs who change societies, who are willing to suffer, to wait and to persevere.

We don’t have to agree with them or what they are doing to respect and admire the personal conviction they have that produces change.

Sometimes their passion makes us feel small, make us feel ashamed that we live such small lives, and makes us realize that we lack that kind of personal conviction ourselves.

Personal conviction is something everyone can have and needs to have and needs to develop.   God wants personal conviction, not robotic follower-ship.   He wants us convinced deep in our bones.  He wants this oozing out of my pours and out of my skin.  He wants us fully persuaded, not just obedient.

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.

1 Thessalonians 1:2-5

It matters how the Gospel message of God comes into your life:

  • Not just with words – listening to a sermon or Bible study
  • Power – changing your life
  • Holy Spirit – no human explanation for what is happening
  • Deep conviction – Deeply held beliefs.

Deep conviction does not fluctuate based on emotions, circumstances, opinions, who is around, what is happening in life.  It is a motivation that cannot be taken away.

Conviction is shown in how we live.  Often we don’t understand our lives – Why do we burn through marriages, boyfriends, decisions, or jobs?  This can happen because we have convictions that are wrong, or we don’t have any.  We are like jellyfish without them – carried along by life.  We don’t stand for anything and don’t believe in anything.

The conviction-less person is…

Indecisive

But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:6-8

Indecisive people have a hard time making decisions and are constantly second-guess themselves. They are often unstable in dating, jobs, relationships because they lack anchors that guide their decisions.

Immature

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 people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.

Ephesians 4:14-15

People who are immature are easily tossed back and forth. They constantly move on for new starts because they have not developed to perseverance go through something to the finish. They don’t have any deep roots (convictions) and lack depth in relationships.

Vulnerable

These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them. For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error. They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”

2 Peter 2:17-19

Vulnerable people get seduced and enticed easily because they do not believe in anything and do not stand for anything.

Hypocritical

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence

Matthew 23:25

The hypocritical person is hyper focused on the outside looking good and never develops the inside. This leads to emotionally breaking down when the pressure gets too high. Hypocritical people can also lack passion because they are not driven by something personal to them, only what other people think of them.

So how do I build a conviction?

We must be convicted to get a conviction

Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, whether men or women, he might take them as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The men traveling with Saul stood there speechless; they heard the sound but did not see anyone. Saul got up from the ground, but when he opened his eyes he could see nothing. So they led him by the hand into Damascus. For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything.

Acts 9:1-9

What does it feel like to get convicted?  It is our conscience awakening. It is to have feelings like, I can’t believe that is me.  I can’t believe I am like this.

It is to be stopped, arrested, to start asking questions like Paul:Who are you Lord, Who am I? What have I done? Who am I affecting?  I have killed all of these people? What does God really think about that?  Could I be wrong? What should I do?

When was the last time you got convicted?

We must be convinced to get a conviction

Read Acts 9:17-22.

We have to be persuaded and convinced.  We have to be taught.We have to be willing to see and embrace the truth. We have to ask:is this worth it for me? Why is it worth it?

This is why we need to read and study the Bible.  When we believe in something really strongly we want to convince others.  We don’t worry about looking foolish.

Am I …

  • Convinced every person needs to live by the Bible?
  • Convinced I need to pray and need God’s help?
  • Convinced that this is best way to live, best life?
  • Convinced that life without God is empty?
  • Convinced that God will be with me in hard times?

Do you want to become a Person of Conviction?

The best way to become a person of conviction is to get in relationships where you get convicted and read your Bible and get convinced yourself.

Scott Colvin

Scott Colvin

Scott Colvin is an evangelist at the Bay Area Christian Church. Scott ran cross country for the University of North Carolina. Some say he's still running to this day.

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