Sunday, June 10, 2012
One huge thing that has happened, however, was a recall election in my state of Wisconsin. If you follow American news at all, odds are you may have seen something on this drama that's been unfolding for the last year and a half.
It's been a huge deal in the state of Wisconsin. People have gotten into arguments left and right, relationships have been fractured, and laws have been questioned.
Now, I don't normally mention politics too much here, but I will talk today about what I took away from the last year and a half.
I've learned just how important it is, not only to have deep seated convictions, but to stand up for those convictions when they're challenged.
Conviction is a hard thing to find nowadays. We live in a very relativistic society. On a daily basis, I'm submersed in a culture that tries to tell me that right and wrong are relative issues. That truth is subjective, and that believing in one truth without acknowledging others equally is intolerant.
But the problem, if that's true, is then the statement that everything is in fact relative can't even be taken seriously.
There are very true, very real actions that are right and wrong.
These concepts, as we understand them, form our character as we develop into adults, and that character determines how we act in situations when our convictions are put to the test.
Why are convictions, and a developed character important?
The answer is simply this, standing for your convictions makes you a more complete person.
I've found that, in not backing away from voicing my political opinion in this election period, and by engaging those who don't see things the way I do rather than shying away from confrontation, that I'm more assertive in the smaller interactions with others as well.
I've never been good at saying "no" to things. Never have.
I like to please people. I like to make everyone happy. Problem is, I can't make everyone happy. I'll do what I can, but I'm bound to encounter those who I'll have to agree to disagree with. If, and when that happens I'll do so in a respectful manner (of course), but will do it firmly.
Realizing, and fighting for your convictions will improve your life.
Having strong convictions will deepen your sense of self in relationships, at work, and at social gatherings. You'll no longer be a pushover. You'll find that people, even those who disagree with you, actually respect you as a person.
All because you find the importance of clinging to your convictions in a culture that is rapidly becoming void of the ideals of truth, morality, and right and wrong.
Is it still important to see multiple points of view? Of course. There will even be times when your opinions on certain things might readjust. But without an anchor, you will be blown about by just about anyone who has an opinion about a particular issue.
Knowing what you believe, why you believe it, and being ready to stand for it when the time comes, makes you a stronger individual. You become more assertive in your interactions with others. You're able to say no. You're able to stand up to bullies, and take care of others who can't stand up for themselves.
In this, I find a deeper understanding of God too.
I don't think that any lesson, or experience that I have is separate from Him, or His plans for me, and those around me. God desires us to be confident, I think. I also believe that it is the Christian's duty to stand up for the vulnerable, the oppressed, and the injured. How can we stand up for these groups, if we ourselves don't know what we believe, or why we believe it?
How can we stand up for these people, if we're constantly backing down to those who trash our convictions?
I'm not advocating militant religious faith. That isn't what I'm saying at all. But I do believe that my faith is worth fighting for. I do believe that there are times, and places that we need to engage others, rather than adopting a passive aggressive attitude.
Followers of Jesus boldly love the world, and actively fight to relieve it's suffering.
We can never do that if we lack the courage it takes to stand for our faith if, and when it comes under fire.
Even in the midst of a state in chaos, and the passionate drama that has accompanied it, there are still lessons to be learned. One of the most important of these lessons is that taking a stand for something, no matter what side of the argument you find yourself on, will make you a stronger person, more assertive person.
Ask yourself what the things in your life are that you'd never compromise. You may be surprised at the answers you come up with!