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How Can We Know if Our Personal Convictions Are Biblical or Not?

To know if our convictions are biblical, we must examine whether they are rooted in love — both love for God and love for others. Biblical convictions should promote love, compassion, and grace rather than judgment, hatred, or condemnation.

Contributing Writer
Published Oct 02, 2023
How Can We Know if Our Personal Convictions Are Biblical or Not?

When I was younger, a mentor shared a cliché with me. “Opinions are like armpits. Everyone’s got a couple, and they both stink.”

The cliché might be crude, but he was trying to make a point with me. Just because you think or believe something doesn’t make it valuable.

Our modern culture has swung far to the other side. Personal beliefs and convictions are the ultimate truth. Everyone has their own truth. At least, that’s our modern standard.

It doesn’t matter how they conflict with reason, logic, or other individual truths; we must submit to a host of individual truths.

However, we need to acknowledge two realities. First, individual truths aren’t biblical or absolute truth. We need real and absolute truth to build our lives upon, or else we devolve into a society of anxiety and fear, which can be easily manipulated.

Second, this doesn’t mean our personal convictions are important. We live and make all types of decisions based on our personal beliefs and values.

Whether this has to do with our spiritual walk, education, career, family, or our next meal, our personal feelings and convictions guide our lives. And those actions have positive and negative impacts.

How do we reconcile these two realities? How do we know our personal convictions are based on biblical truth?

What Are Personal Convictions?

Convictions are deeply held beliefs, principles, or values that guide and shape our thoughts, actions, and decisions.

These beliefs are often rooted in personal experiences, moral or ethical frameworks, religious or philosophical perspectives, and cultural influences. Convictions play a significant role in shaping identity, character, and worldview.

Convictions are core beliefs that represent fundamental truths or principles we hold dear. These beliefs form the foundation of our moral and ethical framework.

Convictions are characterized by their strength and certainty. They are not mere opinions that can change easily; instead, they are deeply ingrained and unwavering beliefs that withstand challenges and doubts.

Our behavior and decision-making are directly impacted by our convictions. For example, a person with a conviction against harming animals is likely to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle.

Convictions can stem from various sources. Many people derive their convictions from religious teachings and scriptures. For example, a belief in the sanctity of life may be rooted in religious teachings against killing.

Family values and upbringing play a significant role in shaping convictions. Children often inherit and internalize the convictions of their parents or caregivers.

Personal experiences, especially impactful or transformative ones, can lead to the formation of convictions. Surviving a life-threatening situation, for instance, might result in a conviction to live life to the fullest.

Education and exposure to different ideas and perspectives can influence the development of convictions. Acquiring knowledge in areas such as ethics, philosophy, or social justice can lead to the adoption of certain convictions.

Cultural norms, societal values, and historical context also shape convictions. What is considered morally acceptable or unacceptable in a particular culture can significantly impact an individual's convictions.

Convictions can extend beyond personal morality to include social and political beliefs. These convictions inform our stance on issues such as human rights, environmental protection, or political ideologies.

Convictions are an integral part of our identity. They help define who an individual is and how they relate to the world around them. We often find a sense of purpose and meaning in their convictions.

While convictions are typically deeply held, we may reassess and change our convictions over time, especially in response to new information, experiences, or personal growth. Such changes can be gradual or result from a profound shift in perspective.

Further, the Bible talks about the importance of our conscience, a personal and internal guide for truth and morality. This conscience is given to us by God and connected to personal convictions.

What Are Bible Verses about the Importance of Our Personal Convictions?

The Bible contains several verses that emphasize the importance of personal convictions and the role of one’s conscience in guiding moral and ethical decisions.

These verses highlight the significance of maintaining a clear and upright conscience in matters of faith and conduct.

So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin (Romans 14:22-23).

This passage underscores the idea that personal convictions should align with one's faith and that acting against one’s conscience can lead to sin.

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith (1 Timothy 1:5).

Here, the importance of a good conscience is highlighted as it contributes to genuine love and faith.

So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man (Acts 24:16).

The Apostle Paul’s commitment to maintaining a clear conscience before both God and people is evident in this verse.

Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander (1 Peter 3:16).

This verse highlights the connection between a clear conscience and a life of good behavior in Christ.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

This verse encourages reliance on God rather than relying solely on one’s personal convictions or understanding. Here, we see a relationship between our personal convictions informed and guided by God’s revelation to keep us on the right path.

Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, with integrity and godly sincerity. We have done so, relying not on worldly wisdom but on God's grace (2 Corinthians 1:12).

The Apostle Paul emphasizes the role of a clear conscience in conducting oneself with integrity and godly sincerity, and this verse further shows us how his conscience wasn’t informed by the world or its ways but by God’s grace.

How Does the Bible Warn Us about Our Personal Convictions and Conscience?

The Bible offers warnings and cautions regarding personal convictions and the human conscience to guide believers in their moral and ethical decision-making.

Our conscience has been given by God, but because we are bound to sin and selfish desires, our conscience and personal convictions aren’t perfect and infallible.

The Bible warns that the human heart can be deceptive and prone to wickedness. Jeremiah 17:9 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

This warning reminds us to be cautious about blindly following our own desires and convictions, which may not always align with God's will.

The Apostle Paul warns in 1 Timothy about those whose consciences have been seared, as with a hot iron. This caution suggests that repeated disregard for our conscience can lead to a hardened or insensitive conscience, making it difficult to discern right from wrong.

In Matthew 7:5, Jesus warns against hypocrisy when dealing with personal convictions and conscience: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” This warning reminds believers to address their own issues and convictions before judging others.

The Bible cautions against causing stumbling blocks for others based on personal convictions. In 1 Corinthians 8:9, Paul writes, “Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak.”

This warning underscores the responsibility to consider how one's convictions may impact the faith and conscience of others.

While the conscience is an important guide, the Bible warns that it can be misguided or defiled. In Titus 1:15, Paul states, “To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.” This caution highlights our need for a well-informed and spiritually guided conscience.

The parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in Luke 18:9-14 serves as a warning against self-righteousness rooted in personal convictions.

Jesus warns against looking down on others and trusting in one’s own righteousness, emphasizing the importance of humility and reliance on God's mercy.

In 1 John 4:1, believers are warned to test the spirits to discern whether they are from God. This admonition recognizes that personal convictions may sometimes be influenced by false teachings or worldly influences, necessitating careful discernment.

In Romans 14:4, Paul cautions believers not to judge others’ servants. “Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.”

This warning emphasizes the need to exercise caution and humility when we evaluate the convictions and actions of others.

How Can We Know Our Convictions Are Biblical?

Knowing whether our convictions align with biblical principles is crucial for living a faithful and righteous life as a believer.

Here are five points to consider in ensuring that our convictions are indeed biblical:

1. Know the love of God. Understanding and experiencing the love of God is foundational to forming biblical convictions. In 1 John 4:8, it is said that “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

To know if our convictions are biblical, we must examine whether they are rooted in love — both love for God and love for others. Biblical convictions should promote love, compassion, and grace rather than judgment, hatred, or condemnation.

2. Develop humility. Humility is a key virtue in discerning biblical convictions. Proverbs 11:2 teaches, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”

Humility allows us to recognize our limitations and acknowledge that our understanding may be imperfect.

To ensure our convictions are biblical, we must approach them with humility, open to correction and guidance from others who may have a deeper understanding of Scripture.

3. Learn to hear the voice of God. Hearing the voice of God through prayer and seeking His guidance is essential in forming biblical convictions. Jesus emphasized the importance of knowing His voice in John 10:27. “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Spend time in prayer, seeking God’s guidance, and listening for His wisdom and direction. A strong personal relationship with God is instrumental in aligning our convictions with His will.

4. Dedicate yourself to studying the Bible. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Regularly immersing ourselves in God’s Word helps us gain a deeper understanding of His principles and align our convictions with the teachings of Scripture.

5. Participate in a strong church. Active involvement in a strong and biblically sound church community is valuable in confirming the biblical nature of our convictions.

Hebrews 10:24-25 encourages believers to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.”

Being part of a church where biblical teachings are central helps us receive guidance, accountability, and correction when needed. This includes trusted spiritual mentors and leaders who are well-versed in Scripture.

Our convictions are important because we live and act from them. But it is crucial to be humble enough to seek God to search us and know us so we can make sure our inner beliefs and convictions are based on biblical truth and not lies that lead us to death and destruction.


For further reading:

Tactics for Discussing Your Christian Convictions

Does the Holy Spirit Give Us Discernment?

What Is Holy Spirit Power?

Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/PepeLaguarda

Britt MooneyBritt Mooney lives and tells great stories. As an author of fiction and non -iction, he is passionate about teaching ministries and nonprofits the power of storytelling to inspire and spread truth. Mooney has a podcast called Kingdom Over Coffee and is a published author of We Were Reborn for This: The Jesus Model for Living Heaven on Earth as well as Say Yes: How God-Sized Dreams Take Flight.

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The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.

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