For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Standards vs. Convictions

Have you ever wondered what someone meant when they said they were under conviction or that was a conviction in their life? Well, I grew up in church and I often heard my pastor preach on convictions. As I got older I began to think that those convictions had to be a part of my life or belief system for me to be considered a decent person. But then I got older and wiser and I learned to discern why I believed what I believed and I came to a wonderful and glorious conclusion. There is a difference between standards and convictions.

The Webster’s dictionary defines standards as: a model, rule or guide and it defines conviction as: strong belief. So, what does this mean to you or me? Simple: Standards are guidelines you live by. They may have been established by your family, friends, school, or society and you have been taught to adhere to them. Convictions, on the other hand are strong beliefs that you adhere to and to a Christian, they are often what one is willing to die for.

I was raised to believe that a girl was more modest if she didn’t wear pants or too much makeup. I was also raised to believe that a Christian young person would abstain from listening to rock music, attending movies and hanging out with the wrong crowds because to be associated with the world was to denounce your faith. So for years I attended a public school and never wore jeans, pants, shorts and so forth. For years I refused to go to movies with family and friends and for years I would not listen to anything but church music. But did it make me a better Christian—no! I realized that my faith was stronger than the world’s list of dos and don’ts. I realized that I could still serve the Lord while wearing a pair of jeans, although I do believe in being modest. I learned that I wouldn’t go to Hell if I enjoyed a pop song or country music with my family and friends. I have chosen to listen to Southern Gospel music because I love the message and I know it is pleasing to the Lord. I choose to dress modestly so that people will know that I value my body and my testimony.

I was also taught to not participate in an activity that might cause someone to stumble or to question the sincerity of Christianity. Standards are not always based on Biblical principles but convictions will be. The Bible preaches on modesty but no where does it tell a woman she cannot wear pants. The Bible says, "I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes" but no where does it tell a Christian they cannot go to the movies. On the other hand, I would use that very passage to remind myself "why" I choose not to watch rated R movies, sexually explicit movies, to view porn, and so forth. The Bible will talk about singing hymns and praises to the Lord but no where does it say a man will be condemned to Hell if he is listening to rock or country music. However, I would use the passage to remind myself to abstain from music and lyrics that encourage a person to live in a manner that is not pleasing to the Lord. In the end: You must know why you believe what you believe.

As a child you can blame it on your parents and/or school but someday you will have no one to blame. Stand up for what you believe in and don't be ashamed of the gospel of Christ.
Now my convictions are a different matter. I will claim the cause of Christ until I die. I have made my profession of faith and have put my trust in the only person that has the power to save—my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I will live a life that I believe is pleasing to Him and when in doubt I will ask the question: What would Jesus do? I will be counted among the believers who fight for a cause. I won’t back down when people ask me what I believe about abortion, homosexuality, premarital sex, and so forth. Yes, those are my convictions—I am not basing my personal opinions on what the world has told me to believe but rather I am believing in the final authority, the written words of Christ.

It is true that we are known by the company we keep. It is also true that we shall be accountable for how we treat God’s children. I have learned a lot through the years and I learned that it’s not always what I say and do that matters but what I believe. I have learned to love the sinner no matter what and to hate the sin.

I’m not sure why I wanted to write on this subject today. Perhaps it is because I’m tired of people telling us how to live by the world’s standards and laughing at us when we choose to live for the Lord. You may never meet me here on Earth but I hope that we will be brothers and sisters in Heaven. If you should meet me and forget me you have lost nothing but if you should meet the Lord and forget Him, then you may lose eternity.Take care and God bless now and forever plus one more day! Always in my thoughts and prayers for an even brighter and healthier tomorrow.


  1. Hey! I loved your message in this blog entry. I'm also getting sick and tired of people telling us how to live by the world's standards. My faith in GOD has always been strong and is growing stronger each day. I feel like we have known each other for years, but it just been six months. We are sisters now on Earth and will be in Heaven.

    You have a Wonderful and Blessed Sunday! ;-)

  2. Hi Gigi!The viking lady holds something behind her back.... "I wont." lol yay! Have a wonderful and safe trip, Gigi. Take care and see you soon. The viking lady sends you many hugs and says she will sleepover with Pippi so she wont be alone. And is bringing the trophy again to share it.

    May our Holy parents protect you and may you have fun and a safe trip. Many hugs, my friend. And no worries, I wont be alone. I'll hang out with our friend, Krista. :D Come back soon. :)

  3. Good for you, honey! More people should think this way.

  4. This is great Gigi. I always wondered how we could tell people not to hang out with the wrong crowd when that's all Jesus did! He hung around the people who needed him.