I received an e-mail tonight from one of my members and in that e-mail it prompted some questions about the phrase, “I am not convicted yet…” in my mind. Would you please discuss and let me know what you think about my following thoughts:
I hear people say a lot, “I haven’t been convicted on that yet.” Or “God hasn’t convicted me.” Most the time we as Christians accept these statements as a legitimite position for an individual to hold, but I wonder have we taken these positions to far? I know in scripture there are a few texts when Paul talks about being “convinced,” and this is a synonym to conviction. But is there ever a story in scripture where someone is clearly presented truth and they say, “yes I see that, but I am not convicted.” ? It seems in scripture when folk are confronted with truth, they either reject it or accept it, the area of gray seems to be minimal compared to what we accept now. And also our acceptance of this answer in regards to conviction seems to be based more on certain areas rather than a universal position of all of scripture. An example: When it comes to the Sabbath, if we teach someone that 7th day is the Sabbath and we show them from scripture this truth. Now if the person responded, “I see where you are coming from, but I am not convicted on this yet.” Most of us…at least I know I have…would say, “That is okay God will convict you in your own time.” If we were presenting to the exact same person and we showed them from scripture that adultery is wrong, if said person responded by saying, “I can see where you are coming from, but God hasn’t convicted me on that yet” I believe we would be much less likely to accept that position, and we would begin to think that the person was just making an excuse for sin. It is the same with “tithe” if people don’t feel “convicted” to tithe we say, “ok.” But if they don’t feel convicted to “love their neighbor” we wouldn’t accept that position.
If truth is truth. When it is presented and understood. Should our conviction even be an issue? It is in scripture. Period! Wouldn’t this nullify a lot of those, “I’m not convicted” statements and wouldn’t this force us as Christians to be more real with ourselves and with God and more honest and just admit, it isn’t about conviction, it is about my unwillingness to follow truth?
Am I making any sense? Am I off base in what I am saying? Have we gone to far with the idea of “conviction” and what subjects of the Bible this can or cannot be used for?