They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are an honest man. You are not afraid of what other people think about you, because you pay no attention to who they are. And you teach the truth about God’s way.Mark 12:14 NCV
Jesus had conviction.
He wasn’t swayed by fear of what people thought about him. Jesus had a deep belief that his purpose on earth was to teach people about God and to help people get to heaven. He stayed focused on that no matter what people said about him or did to him, and was willing to die for that belief.
- How do you feel about being someone who is unswayed by what people think of you?
What is conviction?
A conviction is a belief you hold onto firmly. It is something you will not change despite what you might feel or what others might think of you.
Why do you need conviction?
God can give you convictions of steel, so that you can keep going no matter what you face.
- What are some things you have convictions about?
- Hint: think about things you do, even when you don’t want to
- What are some areas where you need conviction?
- Hint: Think about areas you want to do the right thing but have a hard time doing it
Colin Kaepernick, a former San Francisco 49er, stirred up national controversy when he decided to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in the United States. His decision was highly controversial. Players who followed his example were threatened with being fired. Fans left the stadium and refused to watch games. In 2017 he filed a grievance against the NFL for collaborating to make sure he doesn’t get hired.
On the other hand, he was awarded Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience award. Whether you agree with his decision or not, he is a powerful example of standing up for what you believe regardless of the consequences.
In what area of your life do you want God to help you have stronger convictions?
Convictions from God Give You Courage
And now, compelled by the Spirit and obligated by my convictions, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there,Acts 20:22 AMP
Conviction gives you courage
Convictions give you the courage to do things that no one else told you to do.
Conviction comes from God
Paul’s convictions were spiritual- meaning he got them from God, not from what another person told him. Do you have any convictions that come straight from your own time reading the Bible?
What most often motivates you?
Are you more motivated by fitting in, getting people to like you, not getting in trouble, or convictions from God?
Conviction of the Heart
There’s a whole other life waiting to be lived when
One day we’re brave enough
To talk with conviction of the heart.
- What would you do if you were brave enough to act from convictions of the heart?
Faith is a Conviction, not a Feeling
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 NASB
Conviction > emotion
A conviction is something you deeply believe, regardless of what you can see or feel.
Faith is a conviction, not a feeling
You can decide to believe God is real and the Bible is true, no matter what you feel on a given day.
What do you think will happen if you try to have faith without conviction?
Faith that is based on emotion won’t last very long.
God Can Give you Steel Convictions
It is clear to us, friends, that God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special. When the Message we preached came to you, it wasn’t just words. Something happened in you. The Holy Spirit put steel in your convictions.
1 Thessalonians 1:2 MSG
Steel convictions come from God
If you want to have strong conviction, you need to spend time listening to God’s Word.
A steel conviction is hard and strong
You know you have steel convictions if they are tough and unswayed by your emotions.
In what areas of your life do you need steel convictions?
God can help you become someone with convictions of steel, so you aren’t swayed by your feelings or other people’s opinions.
Martin Luther King, Jr is an example of someone with steel convictions.
- What would have happened if he didn’t stand up for what he believed was right?
- How did he affect other people because he chose to have conviction?
If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.
Martin Luther King, Jr
Talk it through: What is one area you will decide to let God help you have steel convictions?
Take action: What are you going to change with God to become a man or woman of conviction?
Walk through step by step what it would take to change. The leader should think through some of this ahead of time. Be as detailed as possible.
- What steps will this decision involve?
- When will you do them?
- Possible pitfalls?
- Who will you ask to help hold you accountable?
This section is meant to be done together over the next 1-2 weeks. Set up times to do some of these together or to do them separately and then talk about what you learned.
- Read together: The book of Daniel. What are some convictions Daniel stood up for? What good things happened when he did?
- Watch together: Selma – What happens when just one person has steel convictions?
- Do together: Find at least 5 scriptures on your own that are about the area you want to build conviction.