I had a facebook conversation with my friend, Marah, today about personal convictions.  Much of our discussion has stayed with me throughout this afternoon and evening… my heart is pondering this much and more.

Personal convictions… does the same Holy Spirit actually convict some without convicting others about a particular thing?  I think so.  Not sure how or why but I really think so.  I have no scientific evidence, just personal experience.

For instance, I can still think back nine years to the time when I knew I was under conviction to homeschool my kids.  I could feel His stirring very distinctly in my heart.  At the same time, a friend was sure I was not following God’s will by keeping my kids home.  She actually told me, “I don’t think God is calling you to homeschool.  The Bible tells us to be salt and light in the world.  If you school your kids at home, you are in direct disobedience to God and His Word!”  Ouch!  I still remember the days of personal struggle after that conversation.  I knew what the Spirit was whispering to my heart and I also heard what my friend boldly stated.  In the end, I knew I had to follow His leading, regardless of her opinion.  All these years later, I have doubted myself and my ability often but I have never doubted His conviction in my heart.

Amazingly enough, though I knew He convicted me to school my kids at home, I also know of friends and family who have been equally convicted to send their children to school.  These people have sought God’s will, searched the scriptures for themselves and spent time on their knees in obedience to the conviction of their heart.  They may doubt themselves but they don’t doubt His conviction in sending their kids to school.  Amazingly, the same Holy Spirit that led me to homeschool, led them to send their children to school.

As I sit here, I can think of several personal convictions that I have that I don’t share with other brothers and sisters in Christ… for instance, I feel very convicted that magic is wrong.  Therefore, we have removed all books and movies in our home that have magic in them (including Disney, Narnia and Lord of the Rings).  I can remember the struggle of that in my heart and the physical relief I felt when the last of the books and movies left our house.  Very few people share this personal conviction with me and yet, I’m confident the Holy Spirit has commanded that I don’t have magic in my house.  

As I’ve been ruminating on my facebook conversation with Marah, I’m coming to the conclusion that personal convictions are just that… personal.  So often, I think we look to others for the confirmation of the Spirit’s convicting in our heart.  If they are convicted as well, then we must be on the right track.  If they aren’t convicted as we are, we either doubt the Spirit’s call in our heart or we try to be the Spirit and convict them ourselves.  Either way, we lose sight of the term… personal conviction.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I am glad that the God I serve convicts different people differently and I have no idea how or why.  I don’t want to serve a God I can figure out!

Categories faith

8 thoughts on “convictions…

  1. Very thought provoking Heidi. I definitely agree that the Holy Spirit convicts each of us about different things and that personal convictions in our lives can even be changed by the Holy Spirit about the same topics. My struggle – and this is way honest – is that when others aren't convicted about the same things I am, I tend to be judgemental or self-righteous. Those icky attitudes are something the Holy Spirit has definitely been convicting me about lately! I love how God works in each of our lives in such personal ways and that with each conviction, he teaches us something that ultimately makes us more like him.

  2. Wow, thanks so much, Heidi! This post made me really think. There are times when I feel convicted of something but I try to push it away or I listen to those friends that mean well but can't hear/feel the conviction that God has put on me. Thank you, again. This post was very needed.

  3. I love posts that are written from the heart. Thanks for sharing yours with us today.

  4. I too think convictions are very personal. I also think that convictions can change throughout our lives.

  5. Love this!! So many times people try to force their personal convictions on another so convinced its what everyone should be doing. I think personal convictions from God are for the purpose of finding what His will is for us or for protecting us from things that may lead us astray. I had a similar experience when we were considering homeschooling. They were in Public school already and it was a struggle to decide. But I felt God pulling us in that direction… Someone mentioned that maybe we were just doing it because of the problems at the time.. Which the situation had pushed us to make a decision. Best Decision ever. I tell others Homeschooling is not for everyone but Neither is Public school….

  6. I can relate to your post. I also have had several run in's about why I stay at home, homeschool, and don't participate in certain things. Why I dress the way I do/ TONS of Opinions always come at me, mostly from "christians". You are right they are personal. What I don't get, is why people question others convictions? Why woulnd't we be glad that a mom can homeschool her children, or has decided to get junk out of their home. Even if it something they don't think is wrong, why can't we just support brothers and sisters in Christ that are striving to do the best even if it isn't their convivtion. Thanks for sharing. I cam from Blossom's.

  7. Great post. Thanks for sharing.I remember when I finally decided to listen to God telling me to homeschool. Whew! What a relief it was. I felt equally convicted years later when my teen wanted to attend public school very badly (to play on sports teams) and I said no. I was able to rely on the surety of my conviction to tell him, "When I see proof of God's desire to change my conviction to homeschool like lightning blazing across the sky, you can go to public school." That's a bit exaggerated, but he knew what I meant, and sure enough, there was ample enough proof as the years progressed that the choice to keep him home was the right one.I completely agree, however, that the Spirit moves on us as individuals towards certain convictions. He convicted me at certain times to rid my house of different authors' books, or certain genres. He convicted us to get rid of cable, and to drastically limit TV viewing (escept for days like today when there are three reviews due in a week, I am sick, and it is snowing outside…lol!!). He has convicted us to leave a VERY large church to attend a smaller church. Does that mean everyone needs to forego these things? No. And if they do, and are listening, God will convict them, too.Thanks for the reminder to mind our convictions.Blessings and Merry Christmas,Heather

  8. Great post, Heidi. So many people (including myself!) confuse convictions with commandments. Or preferences. I think it boils down to the APPLICATION we choose to live out God's commands. Modesty, for example, is different for different people — all of them living out obedience to Christ, but with different applications. And so the list goes on. Peace in our hearts from God is key. Thank you for this!

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