Dictionaries usually define conviction as a fixed or strong belief. Conviction is really much more than that. Your convictions include your values, commitments, and motivations.
I like the definition of conviction I once heard from the great Bible teacher Howard Hendricks: “A belief is something you will argue about. A conviction is something you will die for!”
Our convictions determine our conduct. They motivate us to take a stand and to act according to our values.
When you first become a Christian, you often do things simply because other Christians around you suggest or model them. You may pray, read the Bible, and attend services because you see the examples of others.
This is fine for a new Christian; little children learn the same way. However, as you grow, you must eventually develop your own reasons for doing what you do. Those reasons become convictions.
Biblical convictions are essential for spiritual growth and maturity. What is ironic today is that people often have strong convictions about weak issues (football, fashion, etc.) while having weak convictions about major issues (what is right and what is wrong).
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (NRSV).
What convictions define your faith?
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. - Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)
9 One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. - Acts 18:9 (NIV)
This devotional © 2014 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.