Preferences Or Convictions?

Here is a recent Supreme Court of the United States definition of preference
versus conviction. “A preference is a very strong belief, held with great
strength. You can give your entire life in a full-time way to the service of the
preference, and can also give your entire material wealth in the name of the
belief. You can also energetically evangelize others to your preference. You
can also want to teach this belief to your children and the Supreme Court
may still rule that it is a preference and not a conviction!”

A preference is a strong belief . . . but a flexible belief that you will change
under the right circumstances. Circumstances such as peer pressure; if your
beliefs require that a bunch of other people stand with you before you will
take a stand, then, your beliefs are preferences, not convictions. Will family
pressure, lawsuits, jail, threat of death, change your mind or would you die
for your beliefs?

You see, a preference is based on what mood you’re in but with a conviction,
it doesn’t matter what mood you’re in or what the conditions are.

You have already made the decision
to live the way God says to live.

For example, John the Baptist at the peak of his ministry said: “He must
increase, but I must decrease.” Here was a man who was “all in” for the
Kingdom. He had determined that he would follow God no matter what.

Then we have Peter who said to Jesus: ‘nevertheless at thy word I will let
down the net.” Here was a professional fisherman who knew what he was
doing, submitting to and following Christ’s direction. Peter laid down his own
personal preferences and submitted to the King.

Many believers throughout the centuries have stood firm in the face of
opposition and did not compromise their values and beliefs. They were
willing to pay for these convictions with their lives.

Among our founding fathers, Patrick Henry stated: “Give me liberty or give
me death.” He was willing to lay down his life for the principle’s he believed in.

In the Supreme Court case of Wisconsin vs. Yoder: an Amish man was told
that his child had to attend public school, this man insisted he had no choice
in the matter, but that it was required according to his beliefs that his child
be taught in the Amish tradition and beliefs. His case went all they way to
the U.S. Supreme Court. The highest court ruled that this man expressed a
conviction and not a preference. His son was allowed to be taken out of the
public school system to be trained according to Amish convictions.

Young people, will you stay pure until marriage? Husband, will you stay
faithful to your wife no matter what? Will you cheat on your taxes? Will
you pray? Will you love your neighbor as yourself? Will you be faithful in
giving to your local church generously? Will you care for the poor? No
matter what? That depends if these beliefs are your convictions or your

All of our values are either preferences or convictions. Do we know the
• You will compromise your preference if under pressure to change. You
will never change your conviction.
• Preferences aren’t protected by the constitution. Convictions are.
• A conviction is not something that you discover, it is something that you
purpose in your heart.
• Convictions on the inside will always show up on the outside, in a
person’s lifestyle.
• To violate a conviction would be a sin.
• A conviction is a belief that you will not change. Why? A person
believes that God requires it.

“Compromise is accepting what you don’t believe,
because you refuse to fight for what you do believe.”

Paul told Christians at the church at Corinth, “You were bought with a price;
do not become slaves of men.” Yet, many Christians look for a “plan B” in
their lives because “plan A” is too much work or too large a sacrifice.

Jesus said to the crowd in Luke 9:23-25: “If any of you wants to be my
follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and
follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give
up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you
gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed?

And in Matthew 10:38-39: “If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not
worthy of being mine. 39 If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give
up your life for me, you will find it.”

You may notice that these are not suggestions . . . they are requirements for
every believer. Is this difficult? You bet it is. But, if we are looking at it from
His perspective; if we see a Kingdom that will not be shaken; if we are living
for eternity . . . it will be worth it! I encourage you to give serious thought to
God’s Word and settle this issue today. Let’s live “the higher life” — the life of

Love you Guys,

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