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Developing Convictions

May 18, 2010

I was deeply wounded (in a good way) by this statement in Jerry Bridges’ book The Pursuit of Holiness in regards to putting to death the misdeeds of the flesh: “The question we must ask in a serious pursuit of holiness is this: ‘Am I willing to develop convictions from the Scriptures, and to live by these convictions?'”  When Bridges speaks of convictions, he is not merely speaking about beliefs, but rather beliefs that lead to action in helping you stop a sinful habit or start a godly one. Conviction is the Holy Spirit bringing God’s word to bear on specific situations in our lives.

What is painful about this statement is that I don’t think I have ever thought of convictions as something I “develop.”  Conviction was that awful feeling that landed on your chest in the middle of a sermon when a preacher pinpointed a sinful habit in your life.  Conviction was something you stumbled upon accidently or it stumbled upon you, but you never intentionally sought it out.  No one that I know walks around saying, “I can’t wait to be convicted today.”

No wonder American Christianity is so light-hearted and casual.  We lack intentional conviction.  We lack the discipline of pursuing conviction for the sake of holiness.  We avoid convicting churches, preachers, teachers, circumstances.  We want to be encouraged and comforted, and we have excelled in our discipline to pursue those things, but we don’t want conviction.  Just think about all the trinkets and cozy things you see at Christian book stores as compared to theology books.  When we side step conviction, we are really saying, “God, I don’t want you to work in my life.  Just bless me the way I am.”

So I am going to need some help.  If I know me, I am going to try and forget about developing convictions.  My tendency is going to treat conviction as something I stumble upon instead of something I pursue.  But my spirit wants to pursue conviction.  My spiritual man wants holiness.  I want to be intentional.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jason Goodwin permalink
    May 21, 2010 9:33 am

    Totally feel you here brother. Jessica and I both have really been doing some soul searching lately regarding thinks like homeschooling, family integrated church, home bible study and head coverings for women in worship. And the scripture has really brought about some serious convictions upon us. It’s no fun to seek out things from the Bible that may bring about some lifestyle changes because way to often we grow too comfortable with the way we live, and don’t want to be convicted about how we are actually doing things. I just pray that I would be more receptive of analyzing all the scripture, and shaping my life and thought with what God directs instead of culture and the flesh.

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