When Al was upstairs in the shower Sunday morning, a crash directly overhead interrupted my routine. Chest tightening while running, I feared my husband might have blacked out and fallen.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes!” The water kept running.
By that time, I saw that the small antique mirror had
fallen, lying within a footstep of drawing blood.
As I hurried to pick up the pieces, the thought came, “This
is life. One minute it looks good, secure and well placed, and the next, it’s a
With Jesus as Lord of our lives, we don’t need to pick up
sharp edges alone. Yes, this side of eternity, mirrors crash as rusty exhaust
fans rattle and disturb the nearby landscape. Yet the Savior of the world sees
the mess and understands our fear.
Jesus has lived among us—the shattered. He knows how to pick
up the pieces.
There is one condition. We must trust Him.
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.”
Guilty as charged, I am a word junkie. I enjoy looking up words and checking out their nuances and meanings. Today’s word is conviction. Maybe it’s because my husband and I have been binge watching the law series Suits on Amazon Prime. Or perhaps I’m curious about how people are convicted of their beliefs about God. Mesmerized I listened this past weekend when Mount Pleasant Christian Church’s senior pastor Chris Philbeck interviewed a panel of nonbelievers as to why they don’t believe in the God of the Bible.
Merriam Webster gives three meanings for conviction. The first one listed—“the act or process of finding a person guilty of a crime especially in a court of law”—appeals to my strong sense of justice and my love for law and order TV shows.
The second one is more generic: “a strong persuasion or belief; the state of being convinced.” People’s convictions drive their actions. This afternoon I finished reading Bill O’Reilly/Martin Dugard’s book Killing Kennedy. Even though I lived through November 22, 1963, my nine-year-old, fourth-grade self didn’t quite understand what was happening.
When Mrs. Noel came back from lunch, our class couldn’t grasp the gravity of why our President had been shot and why she cried all afternoon. Then I had no idea why someone would do that. After reading this book, I begin to understand Lee Harvey Oswald’s convictions and his assassin Jack Ruby’s contrary beliefs.
My takeaway? Erroneous convictions can cause a great deal of pain, suffering and needless tragedy.
Finally comes the 3a definition of conviction: “the act of convincing a person of error or of compelling the admission of a truth.” Here is where we Christians sometimes dangerously park. Too often we forget that conviction cannot be forced upon someone, even if it’s based on truth.
After hearing the panel explain how Christians come across in their beliefs, I was convicted of not listening and loving enough. God gave us the freedom to either choose or reject him. Our God relationship is not an arranged marriage. It’s a union of choosing to love, with listening and loving being the best pathway in sharing our convictions about God.
“A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. . .”