If you have a conviction, you must go where it leads otherwise you either aren’t convicted enough or it isn’t a worthy conviction. This can be hard to do and will make for some uncomfortable conversations at times because in today’s world there are only certain sets of convictions that are seen as acceptable and only certain conclusions that are worthy enough or acceptable enough to reach and anything else is hatred, bigotry, etc.
A few examples. If Jesus is Lord then no one else is. That isn’t being intolerant. That doesn’t call on Christians to be rude, arrogant or hateful. That basic confession of the Christian faith is a conviction that comes at the exclusion of other convictions. It must be taken “all the way” even if that doesn’t sit well with others. That means there is a right and a wrong answer to who is Lord of the universe? Not everything is a gray area. Convictions are not gray areas.
Or how about the conviction that scripture is the inspired word of God that contains authority for how we live, how we worship, etc. If that is the case then we must be willing to take that to its logical conclusion. The hard part is, there are times that conviction will run us right up against tradition and you know that rarely goes well but we do it, believe it and live by it anyway…even though that will upset some people.
If you believe people are made in the image of God and that children are knit together in their mother’s womb by God…fearfully and wonderfully made then that conviction should result in us going all the way…standing up against those who violate the sanctity of life, ripping children from their mother’s womb and selling them for parts. This also means that you will treat those you disagree with, with as much grace and dignity as you can muster. We don’t have to choose between our convictions. Our convictions in Christ are compatible. The conviction to uphold the sanctity of life can and should work hand in hand with the conviction that we are to love our neighbor, even our enemy, as we love ourselves.
We have a responsibility to be truthful and to found our convictions on scripture…come what may. It won’t always turn out pretty. People won’t always agree with it. But it is the right thing to do when done with a Christ-like Spirit, speaking the truth and love and embodying what Jesus embodied…grace and truth.