Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Your Personal Convictions Should Be Your Personal Convictions and Not Someone Else's

As a parent I'm always helping and supporting my kids as they develop their personal convictions to help them live out their walk as Christians. I realize that personal convictions are important, but they must be what they are called, personal. Melanie Stone defines personal convictions as, "...a specific boundary of behavior that God has set for a person individually; however it is not necessarily a commandment defined in the Bible, nor is it a behavior meant for others to follow." Unfortunately too many people seem to be confused when it comes to personal convictions. Firstly, they are often based on Bible verses, but are often personalized. For example, if the Bible says we're to live holy, a personal conviction could be developed to achieve this. It may look like not watching R rated movies., but again, that should be your choice. And how it may look for one person may look completely different for another, which is fine. Secondly, personal convictions are just that, convictions, and are not Bible. The Bible is the infallible word of God, whereas personal convictions are developed from the Bible, but are not equal to the Bible or higher than the Bible. Another thing that arises with personal convictions is when people think others should live out their personal convictions instead of their own. If this were the case they wouldn't be called "personal" convictions. It doesn't mean that people can't adopt someone else's convictions, it simply means they shouldn't feel like they have to or should live out someone else's. Never should a person try to put their own personal convictions on someone else. Personal convictions should be personal with the goal of growing as and living as a Christian. If you don't have personal convictions I highly recommend you develop some. They should have the goal and purpose of helping you live victoriously as a Christian. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hearing Problems

Too often we hear people say, "I can't hear you," but actually what they're really saying is more like, "I don't want to hear you!" I'm seeing more and more examples of this in every arena of our culture. People plugging their ears because they don't want to hear what's being said (and I don't mean garbage talk). I'm sure from time to time I've been guilty of this myself, but definitely now realize the dangers involved when we choose to do it. What would make someone not want to listen to what you're saying? Maybe they feel threatened by your words or perhaps it's not wanting to hear the truth? Busyness could also bring this into play and so could pride. In fact there are many reasons people don't want to listen to what others say, but what's important is seeing and understanding what things we need to listen to. The perspective and view of others could be the very thing that helps us keep on course and grow as a person. How are you when others want to bring a different opinion, perspective or idea (and I'm not taking about what the Bible clearly says, but the practical living of such things). Things that are more personal preference or philosophy? Helping with life, your choices and decisions, your schedule, taking care of yourself, your marriage, and practical parenting, what you should and shouldn't do, etc. Are you quick to plug your ears? Perhaps you're formulating your response as they speak ignoring all that's being said? When others come to you don't be so quick to move your fingers up to your ears. That person may have something you need to hear. I know recently I've worked on this and greatly benefitted from it :) Try it and see what happens...