Dreaming with Conviction

This post is part of a series of posts in support of These Numbers Have Faces and their great work to allow young adults in South Africa to dream with their convictions by providing them with an education. Be sure to check out the series on dreaming with conviction they have going on and support them in any way you can.

I sense that so many of us go through life in a specific way simply because that’s how it’s supposed to be done. In many parts of the world people have the luxury of just going to college after finishing high school because that’s what people do. It is fairly rare that someone changes the lives of those around them by going through life the way that people say we should.

Few of us ever do anything with conviction. Rarely do I have conversations with people who strike me as supremely convicted about where they want to go with their life and how they desire to change the lives of others in the process. Often I live my life without any core convictions.

Over the past few years it has become more common for people to find fulfillment in life by how many things on their bucket list get crossed off. Instead I wonder what it would be like for each of us to seek after life through one or two convictions. I’m not asking us to specialize, but I do wonder how effective we can be at making any discernible impact when we have so many small convictions that we hardly remember all of them.

I believe many are lost somewhere in this process toward having a dream and living it out with conviction. Consider Martin Luther King and his core conviction and how he changed the world by giving all of his life to that one conviction.

Here’s a simple process to get us going toward the goal of dreaming with our convictions:

  • What are your convictions? Before we can consider dreaming we must consider how God has uniquely wired us. Philippians 2:13 tells us that God will provide us with a conviction that should then move out into action. I know that many do not even know what their convictions are. Ask God. He will lead us toward a greater understanding of how we’ve been prepared to care intimately about something specific.
  • How do your convictions match up with the needs of this world? Buechner is well known for saying, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” It’s one thing to perform a task because that’s what we’re supposed to do, it’s a whole other thing to perform a task because we have a conviction about doing so. God doesn’t give us convictions to hold these things in our hearts permanently. He desires for us to live them out through action.
  • How is God changing you through your convictions? This might seem like an odd question to ask. After all, if our convictions are supposed to move out into action it would seem like they are a part of who we are to change others. But this seems to be a bit selfish even though I recognize our convictions do change others. God asks us to walk in this life with humility and meekness and I believe because of this we’re then called to allow our convictions to change us to become more like Jesus. To dream with conviction can be as much about changing us as it is about changing others and making an impact in our world. Most often we’re too comfortable with our current state of life to even begin dreaming with our convictions. We realize that it might change us. It’s a scary place to be, but a good place to be as well.

What does dreaming with conviction look like for you?