Do you respect people with conviction?
I have been thinking a lot lately about how a lot of people I know have differently Biblical beliefs. Growing up, it seemed that churches were about unifying their beliefs (being of one mind) and I never really questioned much of what I had been taught. Now that I have gotten older, I realize there are few things I was taught that I now disagree with. Many, if not all, of my primary beliefs are the same, but there are a few areas outside the basics that I see differently.
As I think about how diverse churches have become and how many churches now use their differences to separate themselves from other believers, I begin to wonder how and if churches will ever be able to unite once again for a common cause.
I've seen churches where it seems like there is little conviction. People are pretty much allowed to believe whatever they want, teach their own views, and they can be as spot on or far off the mark as they so desire. On the other hand, I have seen churches that are so staunch in their beliefs that if you don't agree with everything they believe, they consider you a sinner and all but condemn you to Hell.
My thought for today is about how I respect people with conviction. In a world where it is often a "whatever works for you," mentality, I have a deep respect for those who hold to their conviction and share it with others, but also respect and love other people enough to know when to share and when it isn't the best time.
I believe that if churches are ever going to unite, they have to have that attitude. As the old saying goes, "if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything." I think that is true when it comes to our walk with Christ as well. We have to know what we believe and be able to explain why. We also have to be willing in some cases to be wrong, agree to disagree, and lovingly share our conviction with other people.