When I was a little boy I was told to always tell the truth. Yet, as I got older, I noticed that some do not tell the truth or not tell the whole truth. By the time I was a teenager, people would rather beat around the bush instead of speaking up. Today as I continue to ponder along these thoughts, why is it that so many do not speak up to tell the truth? Is it because they are afraid? Is it because they are ashamed or would rather speak behind people’s backs? Is it because they do not want to hurt another? Or, perhaps they are just ignorant and don’t know any better? These are puzzling questions, especially when we consider Christians behaving in such ways.
Now, I think that all of these questions can be summed up by one word: conviction. Why is it that many do not tell the truth, are afraid to tell it, ashamed to speak it, would speak behind one another’s backs or are just ignorant? People these days seem to be lacking conviction and are just following the crowd. These individuals have not given themselves enough time to studying God’s Word (2 Tim. 2:15). When we look at Acts 17:11–‐12, we notice how the Bereans were convicted to see if what was being told by Paul and Silas was the truth or not because they were confronted by ones who were convicted of Christ and his message. The Bereans wanted to know about their conviction.
Sadly, many do not seem to have enough faith to prove that God’s word is all sufficient (2 Tim. 3:16), that there is only one church (Matt. 16:13–‐18) and that we will all stand before God and give an account of our convictions (2 Cor. 5:10). There are many who stand next to their cross refusing to pick it up (Lk. 9:23), who while knowing the truth, are still unwilling to teach it to others. There are many who are like some of the chief rulers who believed, but because of others, they would not confess Christ for fear of what would happen to them (Jn. 12:42). Is that how it is with you? Are we ashamed of what others may think of us? Are we fearful of what will happen to us? Jesus said, “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mk. 8:38) We should not be ashamed of what is right (Rom. 1:16) neither should we ever be ashamed to speak the truth. The problem may be that we do not want to rock the boat. But when we began to think like this, we must realize that we are to be saving souls and not worried about any boat being rocked or even tipped over. We don’t need to be tiptoeing around the truth, even if it means that some may hate us for standing up for the truth (Ma;. 10:22).
We should not think it strange when fiery trials come upon us (1 Pet. 4:12) and know this: If our convictions are to be seriously considered by others, we must shine as lights in the world (Phil. 2:15). Those who have little to no conviction will not be lights in the world, but will go with the flow and believe and do things without investigation. Those with no conviction will not evangelize the world because they are ashamed of the Gospel. Those who have no conviction will not defend, but will bow out all together for fear of offending. With no conviction Christians will not examine their faith to see if they are still in it. Let us not be ashamed of our Lord nor to defend his cause.
God help us all to be convicted!