3 Reasons to Embrace Conviction

I loved Anne of Green Gables as a child, not this new-fangled imposter gracing Netflix with an E, but L.M. Montgomery’s creation. In Anne of the Island, Anne is talking to Davy, a child that she and Marilla took in.

“That was your conscience punishing you, Davy.”

“What’s my conscience? I want to know.”

“It’s something in you, Davy, that always tells you when you are doing wrong and makes you unhappy if you persist in doing it? Haven’t you noticed that?”

“Yes, but I didn’t know what it was. I wish I didn’t have it. I’d have lots more fun. Where is my conscience, Anne? I want to know. Is it in my stomach?”

“No, it’s in your soul,” answered Anne.

As a pretty self-aware child, I remember frequently feeling that pricking of my conscience telling me I’d done the wrong thing. Sometimes it felt like a pain in my stomach, a heaviness in my head, and overwhelming shame. Back then, I felt enormous guilt and sense of failure and inadequacy.

As I grew older and learned more about the work of the Holy Spirit and conviction in a Christian’s life, I changed my perspective. Conviction sounds like a really depressing word, but it’s the linchpin of the Holy Spirit’s work in a Christ follower’s life. It’s what prompts change, the tingling pain that causes us to see more redemption in our life.  I now embrace that conviction from a new perspective because it’s actually a reason for hope!

Hope in the Holy Spirit’s Presence

I can be encouraged because conviction is a reminder of the presence of the Holy Spirit, and therefore, the presence of God in my life.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”- Ephesians 1:13-14

Each time that I feel that conviction, that voice inside compelling me to action, is a way for me to be sure of my eternal inheritance. I haven’t been forgotten or left behind. God is with me.

Sarah Clews conviction.png

Hope that God Isn’t Finished with Me

Conviction also reminds me that I’m a work in progress. God hasn’t given up on me and His Spirit is still working on me and through me, reminding me of God’s work in my life and His promises. Each time my conscience is pricked, I can know that my soul is continuing to be molded.

All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”-John 14:25-26

Conviction Sarah Clews

Hope in God’s Transforming Power

Conviction through the Holy Spirit is God’s chosen way to work through me. It’s not up to me to grit through and transform myself. God is already at work in me, through the Holy Spirit, through conviction.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.-1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

Our conscience, a sense of conviction—these are the works of the Holy Spirit, our Helper. Although guilt might be a default reaction to conviction, I want to remind myself that it’s a sign of God’s transforming power in my life. It reminds me of the presence of God. He hasn’t left me or given up on me. It’s a reason to hope in the One who has saved my soul.


sarah-c-squareSarah Clews loves being the wife of Carson and mother to three little girls. She received her degree in English from Corban University and still loves the craft of writing. She also helps her husband run a martial arts school. In her free time, Sarah enjoys talking with grown-ups (!), finding new authors, doing online research, and reading her favorite childhood stories to her girls.
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Slow Down, Love God, and Love Others

Author: Karly Grant

Slow down, love God, and love others. These have been the convictions on my heart lately. When the word conviction comes up, I automatically think about it with negative connotations, and I imagine you do too. That doesn’t always have to be the case. While conviction comes with changes that need to be made, it doesn’t have to mean living a life of guilt, it simply means allowing God to work in and through you to make you more like Himself.

I am always in need of conviction. My flawed self needs to constantly be welcoming the Holy Spirit to move in me and change me. How have I been noticing these things lately? While God’s Word is essential, He has also used the words of others lately to stir up these convictions. Through both a quote and a book, I have been encouraged to slow down, love God, and love others.

Karly Grant Conviction

Slow Down and Love God

I recently saw a quote on Pinterest that seemed simple enough, but hit me so hard that I immediately posted it on social media, set it as my lock screen on my phone, and printed it out to post right by my front door so I would see it often. I couldn’t find the source of the quote, but it reads: “Don’t be in a hurry to leave God’s presence. Slow down. Let Him empower you. He has so much to show you, to teach you & tell you.”

More often than I’d like to admit, I find myself in such a hurry or distracted by things in life that aren’t as important. If I don’t spend time with God, seeking His truth, listening, and praying, then I am quick to focus on things that aren’t important (i.e. Netflix, comfort, social media). If I truly allow God to speak to me through His work and through prayer, and start my day like that, I can better see Him as work as I leave my apartment and encounter the world. My day is off to a better start when I start by allowing time to speak to my God and study His Words. When my day starts like this, I am more likely to trust Him and go to Him in prayer throughout my day.

Love Others

“Love God and love others” is a mantra that I heard repeatedly as I grew up in the church. At times it seems rote and redundant. Other times, such as this last month, the simple message hits me hard. As a part of a summer book club, I read the book No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert. Simply put, this book rocked my world. Coming highly recommended, I knew I’d like this novel, but I didn’t realize how deeply impacting a novel would be on my views of the world or how deeply it would stir up a desire to love God’s people.

Conviction Karly Grant

Several topics are presented in this book that are relevant to the United States today (i.e. racism, classism, adoption). I was convicted of areas that I thought I was doing pretty well in, but God used Katie’s words to show me how I could love others around me better. You never know the stories of the people around you. We are quick to judge, even when we think we aren’t. Our job as followers of Christ is to love those around us, no matter what their beliefs, lifestyles, or abilities.

Allowing God to move in and through me right where I am is how I grow and find the refreshment my soul craves. There is a reason that He had me in places physically, mentally, and spiritually different than what I anticipated. He drew me deeper and used words of others to convict. I long to grow closer to Him by slowing down, loving God, and loving others well, and I’ve turned toward just that.


Karly Grant headshotKarly is a single 30-something who is striving to follow Jesus and trust Him in every situation. She can be found with a cup of tea or a good beer in hand while cozied up with a good book or enjoying a laugh with family or friends. God has her on a wild journey. In the last year she has quit her job of 15+ years and gone back to school full-time to pursue a career/ministry in the realm of adoption. She is both terrified and excited to see how God moves and what opportunities He provides in this adventure.

The Enneagram, Marriage, and Me

The Enneagram personality types are being talked about a lot lately. It seems to be the hot topic of personal growth. The types have been at the forefront of my mind since my church held a conference on The Enneagram a few months ago. My understanding is that the “Enneagram of Personality” was first coined by a Chilean psychiatrist and different religions have since adopted it within their own beliefs. For my husband and myself, we have never had anything so accurately and deeply detail out who we each are. Exploring our authentic selves(that which is a reflection of a particular aspect of God’s character) and our adapted selves (that which has adapted to living in our sinful and fallen world) has been informative and entertaining.

If you know anything about the Enneagram, I am a Type 1. One’s are described as perfectionists, high standards, “the good person”, integrity, hard-working, self-controlled, purposeful and our adapted self can be judgmental. While these are all words I would’ve used to describe myself, it’s also a little painful when reading that last word.

Conviction Kayla Anderson

Much of the time growing up, I heard from family that I am too blunt, too judgmental, too condemning. I remember a few occasions of people being upset with me specifically for my strongly held values. For years, more than any other area of growth, I’ve thought about it, prayed about it, asked God to help me, and have tried hard within my own fallen human life to change that last word. I don’t want it to be a word that describes me. I want desperately for people around me to feel comfortable, relaxed and not judged.

Especially in our world today, it feels like being judgmental of anyone else and their life choices is one of the worst things you could do. A crowd will instantly dislike you when you show the slightest hint of intolerance. Which can make it hard to stand up for what is right.

I keep asking myself “what is the difference between judgment and conviction?” Judgment is the act of an opinion or decision judging right or wrong of someone else. Conviction is a strongly held personal belief of your own. The Enneagram Institute describes One’s as “people of instinct and passion who use convictions and judgments to control and direct themselves and their actions.” What gets me into trouble is when my strongly held convictions move towards judgment of someone else who doesn’t hold the same convictions that I do.

This has been particularly interesting in my marriage to a man who is a Type 7. Seven’s are extroverted, playful, optimistic, spontaneous, constantly seeking new experiences and are red-tape pushers. Friends, let me just tell you plainly now, the disagreements between Strong-Convictions Girl and Red-Tape Pushing Guy are usually of the same theme: whether something is right or wrong to do. We have such different convictions and different ideas of right and wrong that at times I wonder how in the world we paired up. I’m definitely a “let’s find out the rules first” kind of lady and he’s more of a “let’s just do it and we’ll ask for forgiveness later if we find out that it was wrong” kind of man.

I have often told my husband that his red-tape pushing is the source of anxiety in my strict rule following world. This is exactly where I’ve had to be stretched, learn and practice what it means to have some vastly different convictions than someone else. Even someone I’m married to and partner up with to parent our four young children. It’s been a place of both of us needing to learn how to discuss decisions ahead of time, come up with a compromise between both of our extremes, and feel the stretching of our own distinct personalities while giving space for the other person. We both have convictions – they just aren’t always the same. I’ve had to learn that just because I personally feel convicted about something, it doesn’t mean it’s as black and white as it feels in my mind. It doesn’t mean that it is wrong, it means that I personally feel convicted about it one way or the other.

Kayla Anderson Conviction

Convictions without judgment of others can be a wildly freeing and anxiety-filled place. In that place, these verses have been helpful to hold onto:

“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your hap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:37-38

I’m not typically an anxiety-filled woman but I feel it rise when I am standing, holding my tongue, and watching my husband do something I personally feel a different conviction about. But there has been such freedom in keeping impulsive words back, not passing along judgment for my convictions, and letting my husband be who he is – the thrill seeker and adventurer. He has a good heart, smart mind, and is an excellent leader of our family. We are learning from each other: I’m learning from him how to just stop and play, and he’s learning from me how to play by the rules. That’s the deep beauty I’ve found in the freedom from keeping my convictions from being opposed on those around me and trusting the Lord to guide us both.

 

**If you want to learn more about the Enneagram types, look into The Enneagram Institute. For a wonderful Christian perspective on the types and how each type reflects different aspects of God’s character, a great read is the book “Self to Lose, Self to Find” by Marilyn Vancil.


Kayla AndersonKayla Anderson is married (for better or for worse) to the one who she knows without a doubt that God created her to be companions with.  Together they have four young children, Ezekiel, Asher, Ellery and Alder, and run a hand-crafted soap shop.  She is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and is in a season of learning how to gracefully be the central point and glue of their family.  Thank the Lord that she has Him to look to for wisdom, guidance and strength!  She loves reading in the quiet, early morning hours, decorating their sweet little home, writing has been part of her soul since she learned how to write letters, and her love of coffee runs deeper than her coffee pot.  You can find more from Kayla on her blog or Instagram.

The Contagious Conviction of Love

Like a moth enraptured by the light, I stood just on the edges of a circle of people hovering to listen. It seemed as though the sounds and words were woven together into a third dimension, as the musicians allowed their joy and assurance to bubble out through their music-making. Their skills good, but their hearts even brighter, they summoned me and others forth into the music. Into worship.

The first time this happened to me I was a music major in college. The musicians had learned music in a cobbled fashion, picking things up as they went from whomever they could. I had been given the streamlined education destined to shoot the straight and narrow into performance. But their music was wholly ragged, entirely captivating, and contagiously convicting. The difference was that they were not focused on playing beautiful music, rather, they focused on worshipping and beauty naturally flowed through it.

Kimberley Mulder Conviction

I looked for opportunities to be with them, to listen and learn because their confidence was so attractive. They were the first people I met who were utterly convinced that Jesus loved them, and loved us. I am sure they could not have kept silent even if they wanted to.

We most often speak of being convicted of sin, but these friends of mine lived convicted of love. Like sparks among dry wood, I and others caught the flame, becoming certain of love ourselves. I left my path to performance, in more ways than one, to live out these certainties.

Conviction Kimberley Mulder

Twenty years later, I picked up my tattered musical training and offered to use it to worship in Asia. I joined two leaders whose contagious conviction is that all are welcome, most especially, the children. I have never encountered two people more convinced of the powerful love of God poured out into welcoming children. They heartily embrace the belief that children are full-grown citizens in the kingdom of God, able despite their lack of experience, and powerful in their powerlessness. We, adults, are to welcome, bless, give opportunity, and encourage them.

Like my college friends, they invite and welcome all regardless of skill. Skill level does not dictate participation. Response to the welcome and willingness governs it. As an outcome of their contagion, our worship team traveling halfway around the world was made up of a nineteen-year-old, one fifteen-year-old, two fourteen-year-olds, a twelve-year-old, and then the leaders and my husband and I!

The young ones’ emerging skills, my rusty ones, and all those present were bound together into the warm flame of worship, and a beauty like none other rolled through it. Those listening felt it, saw it, and they gathered around the light of God and were re-ignited in love which they now carry with them into the countries of Asia.

 


2016-11-02 13.10.06Kimberley Mulder is a contemplative at heart who deeply enjoys the company of Jesus in the day-to-day of caring for her family of 5 (plus a dog and a cat), teaching English to immigrants, growing her garden, and writing. Currently, her walk with Jesus is taking her more deeply into writing as she leads a spiritual formation group at her church, and shares on her blog Living a Mary Life in a Martha World.  She treasures the truth that God’s Word does not go back to him without accomplishing the purpose for which he sent it, and that that Word is embodied in our lives. (Isaiah 55:11)