How Important Is It to Live by Our Convictions?

“Would you pray for me?… It goes against my convictions to promote what they’re telling me to teach.” Or “My company said they’ll terminate everyone who isn’t vaccinated by November 24.”

I’ve received too many such requests recently. Breadwinners feel the pressure of providing for their families. Hundreds of thousands of our military face the possibility of being court-martialed and dishonorably discharged.[1] The pressure and stress is eating some alive. Are you in a situation that’s forcing you to choose between your convictions and something you value—like a paycheck?

How important is it to live by our convictions? Does the Bible offer guidelines for those being pressured to violate their consciences? Whether the pressure comes from an employer or a family member, the Bible offers help.

Four Brave Youths Live by Their Convictions

The book of Daniel provides several examples of choosing faith over safety or security. In chapter one, four Hebrew youths determined they would not defile their bodies with the king’s food.

But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king’s choice food or with the wine which he drank; so he sought permission from the commander of the officials that he might not defile himself” (Daniel 1:8 NASB).

Daniel “made up his mind,” then he sought permission. He didn’t know if he’d receive permission, but he knew he wouldn’t eat the king’s food.

After being tested, the four received exemption from the king’s menu and received a special diet of vegetables. The next tests would come with higher stakes.

Comply or Die

In Daniel 3, King Nebuchadnezzar erected a golden idol and commanded his subjects to bow before it or be thrown into a blazing fire. The band played, everyone hit the floor—everyone except Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. (Daniel must have been in another part of the country at the time.)

King Nebuchadnezzar provided one more chance.

‘If you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?’

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, ‘King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up’” (Dan. 3:16-18 NIV).

Furious, King Nebuchadnezzar demanded the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. The heat killed the guards who tossed the bound Hebrews into the fire. But the story wasn’t over!

Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, ‘Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?’

They replied, ‘Certainly, Your Majesty.’

He said, ‘Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods’” (Dan. 3:24-25 NIV).

Four strolled through the same fire that had killed the guards. Who was the fourth?

While we prefer life easy, trials strengthen our faith (Jas. 1:2-8). Faithfulness in small areas builds our faith muscles to stand under severe testing—and we experience Jesus. The fourth man was the preincarnate Christ!

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked away unharmed. Their clothes didn’t even smell of smoke. And Nebuchadnezzar saw God.

Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon” (Dan. 3:30 NIV).

Live to Please One

Romans 14 says,

If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Rom. 14:8 NIV).

If our lives belong to the Lord, we need only please Him. And when we seek to please Him, He takes care of everything else—including food and clothing (1 Kgs. 17:2-16; Ps. 5:12; Matt. 6:33).

Jesus said no one can serve both God and money (Matt. 6:24). Compromising our God-given convictions to please a boss is like bowing before a golden idol. If we violate our beliefs in one area, how will we stand in bigger tests? And if we comply, what new demand will surface?

Compromising our God-given #convictions to please a boss is like bowing before a golden idol. If we violate our beliefs in one area, how will we stand in bigger tests? #Refreshingfaith Share on X

You may feel like you’re on trial when holding to your beliefs violates their demands. But your test is whether you’ll trust and obey God. Once you determine to follow God, your path will become clear. You see, bigger issues are at stake. You are on assignment to bring Christ to a dying world.

Your convictions reveal Jesus to others. God is empowering you to represent Him and watching how they treat you. How they treat you shows what they think of Him (Matt. 10:40; Jn. 15:21). And He’s promised to bless those who bless His children and to curse those who curse them (Gen. 12:3). How you treat them shows how well you know Him.

Conclusion

No one can serve two masters, so determine to serve Jesus. When we make it our ambition to please Him, the fog disperses. The next step appears, and He walks with us. Obeying God may be costly. But disobeying Him costs more.

But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, how happy you are! Do not be afraid of anyone, and do not worry. But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will become ashamed of what they say. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if this should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Pet. 3:14-17 GNT).

Obeying God may be costly. But disobeying Him costs more. #faith, #RefreshingFaith Share on X

If we can help you process and pray through your challenge, please contact us.

Click here to comment.

Blessings,

Resources

Give Yourself a Break

Most of us want to be close to God. But we aren’t sure how. Give Yourself a Break is a user friendly workbook that will help you experience God in ten areas that tend to cause us stress. Don’t let worry, guilt, unreasonable people, or unrealistic expectations steal your peace and joy. Experience the simplicity of trusting Jesus.

Mercy Me, Even If Song

How to Move From Fearful to Faithful

[1] https://bit.ly/30tkCcO

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Sometimes I link with these great sites:

#InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouraements, #TellHisStory  #Recharge Wednesday, #Grace&Truth,

More From This Category

New Children’s Book: Wonder of Life

New Children’s Book: Wonder of Life

Have you wanted a fun way to introduce the children in your life to the creation story? Last October I introduced Joan Benson and Marjory Wingert and their inspiration for a new series of children's books to you. Their newest...

read more

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Ashley Rowland | HISsparrowBlog

    Living by our convictions is so important. The hard part, though, is aligning our convictions with God’s will and laying aside those that don’t. I am learning this more and more these days.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ashley, that’s very important. Thanks!

  2. Jeanne Takenaka

    Debbie, this is a powerful post. I have friends whose husbands are in a position of possibly having to leave their jobs because of things being enforced that violate their beliefs. I appreciate your perspective about how we/our beliefs will be tested in this world.

    May we each stand strong when those tests come.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Jeanne, it’s not fun, but there are so many examples in Scripture to encourage and guide us. In fact, this blog didn’t go out as it should to many of my subscribers today. And I have no clue why. Hopefully just a glitch. May the Lord show up strong for your friends!

  3. Nikki Fenske

    You did it again Debbie. In truth you gave us a reminder of what happens when we follow the call of Christ without reservation and with conviction. Thankful we have Blessed Assurance in these days.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Me too, Nikki!

  4. Anita Ojeda

    It is important to keep to our God-given convictions—but equally important to separate our fears from our convictions. Are we letting our fear of the unknown distract us from loving acts and calling our decision a ‘conviction?’ Many whites felt convicted that Black brothers and sisters had no place in a white church…but was that a fear or a true conviction? Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves, what would Jesus do? Would he ban Blacks from a church because of their skin color, even if the government insisted Blacks be allowed to worship anywhere they chose? What would love do for others?

    • Debbie Wilson

      Anita, you bring up a good point. That is why we must live to please the Lord. If we know the heart of God I don’t think we’ll go wrong. Those bound to their religious traditions can become like the Pharisees. But those with living relationships with God have the Holy Spirit correcting and guiding them. Right and wrong haven’t changed.

  5. Nancy E. Head

    Sometimes we need to ask ourselves whether our choices lead us to ease or discomfort. Sometimes God calls us to discomfort. As you point out so well, we get the best results when we choose the discomfort God calls us to.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Nancy, you’re so right. We must stay in step with our Lord even when it’s uncomfortable.

  6. Katherine Pasour

    Yours is such an important message and Daniel is a great example of someone who served God and stood up for his convictions. The Book of Daniel is a powerful role model for us in a multitude of instances. I’ll only add one thing in reponse to your blog–it does complicate matters when one person’s convictions (or a group of people) can cause potential harm to others. With the current situation, I think we can see that both viewpoints (requiring vaccines or being unwilling or unable to receive the vaccine) is causing great controversy, but there are risks involved in both cases. It is not an easy problem to solve, balancing freedom of choice with keeping as many people as safe and protected as possible.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Katherine, I think of Romans 14:22 “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves.” Believers in Paul’s day had different opinions on eating meat sacrificed to idols. He told them to keep their opinions to themselves. They’re called to peace. If we’d only go to God for direction. Thanks for adding your thoughts.

  7. Ann J Musico

    Oh Debbie this is SO relevant to our times and such a difficult situation so many find themselves in. A strong and abiding faith in God has always been critical to living well, but never more than now. Thank you for sharing this – very encouragiing for those who have ears to hear.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Ann. You are a true encourager!

  8. Sylvia Schroeder

    I really loved this post Debbie. Thank you for reminding me of Daniel. It fits so perfectly with some of the questions and situations we are faced with today. I love how God’s Word is so applicable to real life.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Sylvia, I’m in three different parts of the Bible now and every one of them applies to what is going on. So exciting to see how God speaks to us. Thanks for reading.

  9. J.D. Wininger

    Powerful truths here Ms. Debbie. If Christ tarries, we may each have to make similar choices as Daniel and his friends. What this world can never understand is that for God’s true children, our choice was already made. We just have to seek the courage needed to withstand the coming storms my friend. Praying daily for just that. God’s blessings ma’am.

    • Debbie Wilson

      May we all be strong and courageous. Blessings to you too, J.D.

  10. Joanna Eccles

    Thanks for the reminder that living by our convictions is costly, but that disobedience is even worse. I am praying for believers to hold to their convictions.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Yes, may we all be strong in the Lord. Thank you, Joanna.

  11. Jen

    I love this statement, “ Your convictions reveal Jesus to others.” I never thought of it that way but it is so true. Thank you for the encouragement and strength.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Jen!

  12. PaulaShort

    Debbie, thank you for sharing this blessed message today. Thank you for your encouraging words here. Blessings.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Paula!

Refreshing Faith Blog

Pin It on Pinterest