At the beginning of 2015, I wrote a blog post which I lost when moving to wordpress titled “Conviction about convictions” – the whole premise of the post being that we are given our convictions for a reason by the Holy Spirit. As it were, my resolution for that year (and now for the years to come as a life resolution), because I came to this realisation was that I must act out my convictions, whatever those could be.
In retrospect, 2014 was the beginning of this. In July 2014, I attended the then Perth Christian Life Centre young adults conference and one of the sponsors attending was Compassion, a child sponsorship group. Around midway through the night, one of the Compassion spokespeople got on stage after a video and spoke about a young boy named Longthong who had been unsponsored through their program for over 500 days.
Have you ever had God shatter your heart for a person, or for a program, or for a nation? Have you ever felt so convicted that without action, you would have felt guilty? I became a Christian in November 2009 and I have never felt such conviction as I did for Longthong. 500 days is far too long. I walked out of that conference with a sponsor child.
I want to ask anyone reading this: what is it that convicts you? Is the prevalence of modern day slavery crushing your heart? Does the poverty of 80% of the world challenge you to live more simply then you do? Does the concept of unreached peoples (those who have no access to a Christian and have never heard the name of Christ) spur you on in evangelism and mission both locally and cross-culturally?
These issues are close to my heart. Challenges me like crazy. If I didn’t know about these issues, I would be living my life very differently and my understanding of these has effectively changed my life. I believe that my convictions necessitate action on my behalf, for the good of others and for the glory of God.
Last year, I attended the Hillsong Conference in Sydney. Following this, i wrote a post titled “When conviction becomes action“. I already sponsored a child through Compassion (Longthong since moved from the program; my current sponsor child is from India), but lo and behold, Compassion was present again at the conference.
Maybe it’s the bleeding heart millennial in me who wants to change the world. Maybe I’ve become a social justice warrior who uncharacteristically puts his actions where his words are. Maybe, just maybe, I’ve learnt to give in to the push of the Holy Spirit in my life and act as He leads. I walked out of that conference with another sponsor child, this time from Bolivia, who had been waiting for a sponsor for 450 days.
“If you live gladly to make others glad in God, your life will be hard, your risks will be high, and your joy will be full.” ~ John Piper
I believe my convictions as a Christian are centred on this: I want to live my life gladly to make others glad in God. What does that mean for me?
It means I sponsor and intentionally keep in touch with these two children I sponsor through Compassion. It means I continue giving money to the work of slavery abolition with Exodus Road. It means I continue the fight against poverty with World Vision. It means I purposefully and intentionally serve in my churches youth and children’s ministries, to see change amongst the youth and children in the city of Mandurah. And it means in July this year, I head to Cambodia with a missions organisation and spend my life for 6 months serving and giving everything I have for the local Khmer people in the role I find myself in.
“Having convictions can be defined as being so thoroughly convinced that Christ and His Word are both objectively true and relationally meaningful that you act on your beliefs regardless of the consequences.” – Josh McDowell
Christ and the Word are objectively true and relationally meaningful. This is why I do what I do, why I’m so emboldened to commit myself wholeheartedly to the cause of Christ. It’s the strength of convictions given by the Holy Spirit that transitions into action, regardless of the consequence.
Our convictions necessitate action, for our good, for the good of others and for the glory of Christ. I would challenge anyone who so happens to be reading to really consider: what is the Holy Spirit impressing on you – and is it worthwhile acting upon it?
Believe me; it’s worth it.