On Monday of this week, I read I Corinthians 16 (New Living Translation) in my morning time with Jesus. I was impressed with verses 13, 14:
“Be on guard. Stand true to what you believe. Be courageous. Be strong. And everything you do must be done with love.”
Here is what I wrote in my journal:
“Jesus, what a great and simple passage. It deals with:
“Having the courage and strength to stand firm on my personal convictions, but to do it in a loving way.”
I shared some thoughts with the leadership team of Ministry Coaching, as we have a team Skype call every Monday at 7am.
I mentioned that my experience has taught me that there is a big difference between holding a biblical conviction and having a personal preference.
When I was younger (arrogant and a know-it-all), I spoke often about “my convictions.” In actuality, many of these so-called convictions were simply my personal preference and not really thought-through convictions at all.
As I (by His grace) have matured a bit over the years, I have recognized that my convictions are fewer in number and my preferences are many in number. I can flex, negotiate, give up and give in on many preferences, which is often the loving thing to do--especially in the family.
My heartfelt biblical convictions are a horse of a different color. I have convictions about being a person with solid character…sincerity, integrity, humility; which I am not willing to compromise on.
Additionally, I hold biblical convictions such as: the Bible is the infallible word of God, Jesus is God, heaven and hell are real, marriage is to be between a man and a woman…to name a few.
I am not interested in being “politically correct” by compromising my deeply held convictions.
I get into trouble in my relationships when I confuse convictions and preferences. I hold convictions with a closed hand and preferences with an open hand.