It may not always be easy to live as a Christian in today’s world. I’m sure there are times when we are all faced with the dilemma of knowing how to respond when we find ourselves in a situation where the ways of the world run counter to our Christian beliefs. For example:
- How do we respond when we know a cashier has given us too much change or has made a mistake in ringing up our purchase (in our favor of course)?
- What do we say when our boss at work asks us to do something that goes against our Christian beliefs?
- What do we do when our friends at school try to convince us to do something because “everyone’s doing it” when we know it goes against what the Bible teaches?
- How do we resist the temptation to “bend the facts” just a little in business deals, income tax reports, insurance claim forms etc.?
Knowing how to respond and what to say in each of these situations and many others has a lot to do with our convictions. The dictionary defines conviction as “the state of being convinced, a strong belief.” As Christians, we have a strong belief that the Bible is true and trustworthy; we are convinced that it will be beneficial to us to be obedient, even if our resulting convictions often find us running counter to our world. This kind of living often takes courage.
It takes courage to stand for what you believe in even if it means you might be ridiculed or not accepted by others. It takes inner courage to stand firmly by your convictions and not be easily swayed by peer pressure or other distractions.
And…it takes wisdom and sensitivity to be able to stand by your convictions and not impart a “holier than thou” attitude to others.
“Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.” I Peter 3:13-14,17
“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and God rests on you. So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.” I Peter 4:14,19