What kind of music do you enjoy? I am a country and western fan. What do you like to do for fun? I am a reader and do enjoy fishing. Are you a cat or dog lover? I really prefer a dog. Does your toilet paper roll from the front or back side? Mine rolls forward. Preferences are fun to identify.
What about your stand on alcohol use or gambling? Do you have a personal opinion about movies or other forms of entertainment? Do your political opinions reflect any Biblical notions? These opinions are still subjective, but become convictions upon reflection.
What do you believe about creation (6 days or 6 ages or deistic evolution)? Does the mode of baptism need to be immersion for you? When do you see the Lord returning? (Before, during or after the tribulation?) Are you a fan of congregational church government or are you down with elder rule? These Biblical beliefs are objective and rooted in something outside of ourselves. But Godly people do disagree on some of these.
What do you believe about the Trinity? Have all men sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? Do you see your salvation as a gift of God, available by grace alone? Was Jesus fully God and fully man? Are believers sanctified and set aside for God’s use? The answers to these questions form our Biblical convictions and are objective truths for all men everywhere.
Preferences are different from convictions. And convictions can be subjective (affected by things like our place in history and our culture) or objective (determined directly by the scriptures). It has been said that a belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for. It is a conviction that brings “a silent, indefinable beauty into faces made of commonest human clay.”
Biblical convictions matter. We saw that in the life of David this week. His example showed us how to stand in our Biblical convictions. So maybe it is a good time to review our personal and family convictions. Start with the things that are subjective and affected by our culture and upbringing. Some of those will just be preferences (things like music, pets, styles, and sports).
Then make a list of your personal choices. These things are subject to time and place, but you have made some decisions for yourself. List your personal insights about politics, entertainment, social networking, etc. What matters to you and why? How does your stance line up with God’s Word?
And then make a list of the objective matters, including both your beliefs and your convictions. The beliefs are open to a bit of interpretation. We should know what we believe and be able to defend that position from scripture, but we recognize that other godly folks might not agree with us. And that’s ok.
The final list though is non-negotiable. Our convictions reflect time-honored truths that are not up for interpretation. These are Biblically objective things like our stance on the Word of God, the Trinity, salvation by grace alone, the total depravity of man, and so on. These are the objective convictions that we are willing to die for.
So, what REALLY matters to you? Are you ready to stand for your convictions?
Sherry Worel is a Bible teacher at heart and lives a life of ministry. She’s been involved at Coast Hills teaching Women’s LIFE, Bible studies, online courses, devotionals, participating in Upstream conversations, and much more. Having a love for education, Sherry has over 50 years of teaching experience with schools, churches, and mission agencies. As well as earning her Master’s at Talbot Seminary, she rounded out her education with 35 years as Head of School at Stoneybrooke Christian School. Sherry is happiest with a book or fishing pole in hand.