Confident Convictions Questions
By Matthew Ruttan
Why do you believe what you do? No, seriously, why?
I’m not talking about someone else’s reason, or what you think the “right” reason is. What is the real reason? Your reason? Are you able to express it? And are you able to do so confidently?
That’s part of what we talked about during Part 2 of the “Peachy” series at Westminster on January 15th. (You can hear the full podcast called “Confident Convictions” here.)
Barry Corey says that Christians should have “soft edges and firm centres.” What he means is that we should be loving and compassionate, but should also have firm convictions in our hearts. The two go together. So to help with that, and as a part of Sunday’s message, we provided a handout that guides you through a process to help make you more confident in your convictions. Since we wanted to make it widely accessible–especially for those who weren’t there on Sunday–we’ve also provided it here in blog form.
Think about 1 Peter 3:15 that says this: “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…” (NIV)
With that in mind, here are three questions for you to consider. Take time to write out the answer to each.
1. What is the biggest thing that causes you to question your belief in God, and which undermines the confidence of your convictions?
Search yourself on this one. Maybe it’s why bad things happen to good people. Maybe it’s if you can trust what the Bible says. Maybe it’s the argument that science and faith are opposites (FYI, they’re not). And in case you missed Sunday’s podcast, I talk about all these questions. You can link to it near the top of this post.
2. What are you going to do to learn more about this area of uncertainty?
Now that you’ve focused in on something you need to learn more about, how are you going to proceed? Maybe you’ll want a book or resource to study; or maybe a study Bible to explore some key passages; or maybe it’s getting together with a few like-minded people to talk through your questions.
3. If someone were to ask you to give a reason for your faith, what would you say?
Hopefully by this point in the process you’re feeling a bit more confident. So formulate how you would explain your faith—or, as Peter says, “the reason for the hope that you have.” We don’t do this to be superior or judgmental. We do it to increase our confidence. Write it down. Honestly, what would you say?
In the process, relax. You don’t have to have all the perfect answers. Plus, the Holy Spirit is with you as you sincerely seek to speak the truth. Another good thing to keep in mind is this principle from Jude 1:22: “Be merciful to those who doubt” (Jude 1:22).
Remember, you don’t need to know the best reason why others should believe… but why you do.
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