One Conviction that Affects Every Other Conviction

Life is complicated, isn’t it?

That’s true at a very practical level. I look at our fall, with our children, right now, and the word seems right. Trying to navigate between two jobs, three kids, various parties, volleyball, cross country, and baseball practice, discipleship opportunities at church – it’s a lot. And we are no different than most other families.

The pickups and dropoffs alone are enough to warrant their own spreadsheet to deal with the complexity.

But life is complicated at an intangible level as well. It’s complicated to think through political arguments, the impact of media on the family, choices of educational model – and what the Christian reaction is to all of it. This, too, is enough to warrant at least a spreadsheet, if not a flowchart.

In the midst of all this complexity, I find myself gravitating more and more toward anything that promises simplicity. Got a simple cell phone plan? I’d pay a bit more for that simplicity. Got a solution for a three hour trip to the grocery store? I’d pay a bit more for that simplicity. You’ll deliver my air conditioning filters without me remembering when to change them and what size I need? Yep – I’ll sign up for that, too.

Why? Because it’s simple. And in a world of complexity, both tangible and intangible, simplicity is valuable.

When it comes to matters of faith, I’ve become increasingly convinced that there is a conviction you can hold that simplifies everything else. It’s one decision of faith that brings into perspective all other decisions of faith. It is, in fact, the central point of decision for moving forward with Jesus. And you can phrase it in one, simple question:

Is the Bible true?

Once you make that decision, then everything else falls into focus. Once you decide the Bible is true, then you can know who God is. And once you decide the Bible is true, then you can know who you are. You can know how to make decisions, know why you exist on this planet, know the purpose of your family and everything else. Further, you can always boil any decision back to that central decision:

Is the Bible true?

If what we believe about the Word of God is indeed so central, so pivotal, then it’s no wonder that the Word of God was what Satan attacked at the very beginning, for it was the Word of God Satan attacked in the middle of the garden in Genesis 3:

“Did God really say…” he said to the woman.

Those four words still haunt us today. They haunt us not only because of the devastating effects that came afterward, but because those same four words are at the core of every temptation, social evil, and moral compromise we still face:

  • “Did God really say not to worry?”
  • “Did God really say He would provide for you?”
  • “Did God really say that judgment would come to all people?”

And we can still take it further:

  • “Did God really say that there were male and female?”
  • “Did God really say that all life is precious, even in the womb?”
  • “Did God really say that Jesus is the only way to the Father?”

Here is the conviction that shapes all other convictions. Once we are firm in believing the truth of God’s Word, then we are firm in believing all other things for this decision trickles down to the furthest reaches of our lives. If God has indeed spoken, then we are not without a Word. And it’s our conviction in that Word that shapes everything else.

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