Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1 NRSV)
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 them 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, fashions, etc.) while having weak convictions about major issues (what is right and what is wrong).
Think about your walk with Jesus, and make a list of the convictions you now hold. Are your convictions weak on any major issues?
Saddleback Resources offers a small group Bible study related to these devotionals: The Invisible War-Winning the Battle of Temptation.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and best-known churches. In addition, Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life and The Purpose Driven Church, which was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for ministers. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.