So there was this guy, right? And several girls and I were all talking to him about how we were going to go to this concert, and we asked him if he was going and he said, “I’m not going. The style of music promotes sensuality, and many of the performers there wear immodest clothing. It’s a matter of conviction for me.”
You know what? His answer was so humble. He had a conviction and owned it. Too many times when I have a conviction about something, I get self-conscious about it. I react in pride, and I’ll try to make another person look bad for doing it. Or I’ll try to convict them myself. (As if I ever could. Isn’t that the Holy Spirit’s work?) This is called self-righteousness, and Jesus speaks against this in the Gospel of Luke where he tells the parable about the self-righteous Pharisee and the humble tax collector. Jesus told this parable for the reason that some Pharisees “trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others” (Luke 18:9). The Apostle Paul in the Epistle of Titus, like Jesus, calls believers to humility, and he emphasizes the grace and mercy we ourselves have received from God: “No by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5).
If we maintain a haughty attitude about our convictions, and if we preach and whine about the failings of other believers and unbelievers, we are really being ungrateful for our own salvation and for the mercy and grace that God has poured out on us. And we begin to sound a little bit like Peter, complaining about cross Jesus asked him to bear. But Lord, what about THAT disciple?
“What is that to thee? Follow thou me.”
The humility of the young man’s answer about the concert impressed me. He was not judgmental in any way, and he answered with a smile on his face. It was clear that his conviction was a very personal one, one that he himself had worked out with Jesus through relationship.
I had to think of this story when I was reading in the Psalms this morning.
“The Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation.” Psalm 149:4