Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CONVICTION VS. CONVENIENCE

Today I felt like God gave me those two words to ponder.  It came in a question:  "Which do you want to live by:  convenience or conviction?"


As I stewed on this, here's what's been kicking around in my head in one way or another.  
  • Convenience is comfortable and easy.  Conviction is risky and difficult.
  • Convenience enables one's desires.   Conviction shapes one's behavior.
  • Convenience is common. Conviction is rare.
  • Convenience loves what I've always done.   Conviction takes the road less traveled, regardless of the cost.
  • Convenience is recycling when there's a drop spot in the hall.  Conviction causes you to carry the empty bottle all the way home if need be.
  • Convenience prays with my family at church.  Conviction prays when no one is looking.
  • Convenience is saying "I'm a christian." Conviction is living like Jesus.
  • Convenience says helping others is important.  Conviction says talk is cheap.
  • Convenience eats whatever, whenever food is around.  Conviction chooses what to eat and when.
  • Convenience obeys my desires.  Conviction obeys my soul.
  • Convenience is casual. Conviction is powerful.
  • Convenience causes one to please people.  Conviction causes one to lead people.
  • Convenience gives when money is plentiful.  Conviction gives out of principle.
  • Convenience empowers laziness.  Conviction fuels self-discipline. 
As I thought about it today, I really want to live by conviction.  But it's easier said than done. When I live by convenience, I have fewer tough decisions.  I get more done.  I have lots of company in the journey.   When I live by conviction, life gets intensely faith filled.   I get less done.  I find my companions on the journey dwindles.  

Jesus' famous words in Mark 8 seem to speak to this:  

Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.  If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.  And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?" 

And perhaps these words in Matthew 7 as well.

 "Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

I'm on the crux of some life changing "conviction-over-convenience" decisions in my life.  I'm reaffirming my desire to obey the Holy Spirit's conviction... but it will be anything but convenient.

2 comments:

Ed Noble 9:14 PM  

Maybe it's a matter of having a manageable number of convictions so that they don't seem oppressive - gnat & camel kind of thing. We both know some peeps that have a "conviction" about everything.
Also, I wonder if our idea of conviction is too shaped by western individualism, if the perhaps the Bible sees convictions as a community affair. Just thoughts.

suzie,  5:33 PM  

I guess you have to ask yourself if the whole 'conviction' thing is another confirmation...sounds like God continues to prompt you.
I'm praying for you and your convictions. It seems few are those that follow their convictions whether it's eating right, recycling or major life changes. Sometimes it seems too hard or overwhelming...but sometimes that's when the journey gets really cool! Regardless, you rock.

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