5 tips for holding convictions with humility

Feb 12, 2018 by

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Entreat God. God delights in the humble, and he wants to help us grow in humility. Our first step must be to pray for humility.

Discern others’ background. Often others’ beliefs are shaped by their experiences. Understanding whom others are reacting toward helps us understand their reasoning. Have they been exposed to people who took our conviction to the extreme?

Sometimes there is no reasonable understanding of other peoples’ perspectives. However, many times they do have some logical points, so let’s respect what we can.

Personally, I find joking, putting down those who disagree with us, and turning others’ arguments into “straw men” to be unfair, rude and many times arrogant.

Consider your flaws.

  • Out-arguing does not mean we are right. It’s easy to justify ourselves, but others may be right even if they don’t know how to argue for their opinion.
  • Barriers aren’t worth it! It’s tempting to not hang out with people who live differently from us. It’s tempting to not want to admit any inconsistencies or flaws in our lives or our reasoning. Yet people actually admire honest humility rather than a fake persona of perfection. Sure, they might use our faults against us and yes, we are opening ourselves up to criticism, but their response shouldn’t prevent us from seeking relationship.
  • Noticing when we are defensive — when another’s comment evokes a strong emotional response — prevents us from reacting rashly or looking stupid by arguing against inconsequential or accurate statements.
  • Our commonalities many times outweigh our differences, yet we can forget to focus on them. God calls us to community and unity. Philippians 2 tells us that we can unite in service and following Christ’s example.

Befriend encouragers. We not only need to interact with people who disagree with us and stretch us, but also with those who respect our convictions and who we can relax around. We should find both.

Accept rejection. Jesus offended people. He was rejected. Being misunderstood is part of the sacrifice God asks of us. We can’t expect everyone to agree with us. Others will joke about our convictions, be offended, and stereotype us. That’s part of obeying God.

And it’s OK.

We are ultimately responsible for our response to God’s Word — not others’ (Ezekiel 3, 33).

I want to show vulnerable, confrontational love. I believe that love doesn’t hide from controversial issues, but rather welcomes people into my life, allowing them to hurt me as well as get to know me and my passions.

Tabitha Driver is a Mennonite who loves glimpsing God’s goodness on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. She blogs at Life is a Metaphor, where this post first appeared.

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