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Developing Convictions

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord. That person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:5-8

An acorn needs nutrients and time to grow into a tall oak tree. Likewise, men and women of conviction develop gradually through committed Bible study and prayer. Ready to get planted firmly in biblical truth? It can help to make a list of issues for which you need to form a conviction. Here are questions to get you started:

  • Do you consider the Bible true and trustworthy?

  • Do you think that believing in Jesus is the only way to be saved?

  • What is the Holy Spirit’s role in the lives of believers and unbelievers?

  • Are we to forgive others in every situation?

  • How should Christians approach finances?

  • What’s your purpose in life?

  • What is your role in the church and at work?

  • How should you think about social issues like abortion and racism?

It’s my hope these questions will open the eyes of those who haven’t considered how their personal philosophies developed. It’s time to change that. Study the Bible and make God’s Word the cornerstone of your thinking. A concordance will point you to scriptures that relate to the above topics. Evaluate what the Bible says instead of forming conclusions based on personal preference. Ask, What does God say? rather than What does this mean to me?

Once you know what God says, you have a choice: Believe Him and commit to living according to your conviction, or continue being tossed by waves of doubt and indecision (James 1:6). Root yourself in God’s Word, and be called one of His oaks of righteousness (Isa. 61:3).

Charles Stanley

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