ooh, two blogs in one day! well, this one doesn't really count because it's actually an article i just read at boundless.org (a site i HIGHLY recommend you check out!):
hmm, on second thought, i don't know how all that works with reposting an article, so i'll just put up a link and some quotes:
this article is called "Conviction Life," by Rachel Starr Thomson, and is about living by conviction, not just default or reacting. hello. that's so something i've been wrestling with lately.
"Every day, I'm faced with choices that will put me in one of three streams: life by default, in reaction, or by conviction. And though living by default is easy and reaction feels good in the heat of the moment, I realize more and more that only a life of conviction is consistent with my faith. It is the life God is calling me to embrace."
i think this hits the nail on the head--how easy it is to simply go through the motions of life, to waste time just doing what's immediate, and ignoring the greater things that are at stake! how often do i do that (everyday, really), because i don't want to plan to do something else and somehow miss out on something "better" that comes along. i default, i react, but i don't live like i'm standing on something solid and firm, something that matters more than what i can see and know around me.
"Both streams are very human — both may even be necessary for growth into adulthood. But neither was meant to be a permanent way of life. The more I grow, the more I live with the uncomfortable realization that God wants me to step out of the flow, to lay down my reactions, and to live by conviction.
Merriam-Webster defines conviction as "the state of being convinced of error or compelled to admit the truth; a strong persuasion or belief; the state of being convinced." Conviction is not based on stimulus, rebellion, or going with the flow. It requires thorough exploration of a matter, concentrated thought, and committed practice. Living by conviction means living in accordance with what I believe to be true — according to what I've been convinced is true."
"To live by conviction requires several things of me.
First, it requires a recognition of authority. My personal preferences and opinions are not convictions. To live by conviction requires that I recognize objective truth as God defines it. If I want to live by conviction, I must regularly seek out the ultimate authority on all of life's issues — I must learn Scripture and apply it soundly to my life. If I wish to be fully persuaded in anything, I must put time and effort into studying the Bible."
this is exactly what i've been wrestling with so much lately--authority, and how quickly we totally abandon it, at a huge expense to ourselves and others. hello! the other 2 things she says are equally important: commitment to thought--asking questions and thinking things through: "And, I remind myself as I begin to be carried away by the grandness of it all, I should ask questions not out of rebellion, pride or love of debate, but out of a sincere desire for truth — especially when it challenges me."
and then finally, acting on our convictions--application. i like this comment on conviction and action, because it is so easily to separate the two, and so deceive ourselves: "Bringing my convictions into the realm of action also provides me with a good litmus test: If I find that my convictions cannot be practiced, I may need to reexamine my thinking. God's truth corresponds to reality — if my convictions do not, they may not correspond to God's truth!"
good stuff. go read the whole article, and check out the other amazing stuff at boundless.org--you won't be disappointed.