What motivates us? Is it our conviction or our convenience? Is our heart like the Lord, “I do all things always that please the Father?” Is our heart more self- oriented to what is convenient and easier?
In the New Testament there seemed to be an emphasis by the people of God placed on conviction. There was a strong desire to grow up to be like Christ. Over and over again, the emphasis is made that the purpose of discipleship is transforming Christians into the image of God.
Shouldn’t what we do and how we do that be aimed at transforming us into the image of God? Yet, how often do we make decisions based on what is more convenient? I get it; I like convenience too. Who doesn’t? Inconvenience is not comfortable. It is stressful. But, if we are going to be transformed into His image, at times we will not be comfortable or lead by convenience.
Consider, lifestyle choices based on our convenience. The car I drive. The house I live in. The clothes I wear. All are largely determined by what I feel is convenient. There is nothing wrong with that, except when that desire to please God in all things I do is overridden by my lifestyle choices. When my lifestyle choices for my convenience lead the way, rather than my conviction to be transformed into the image of God. Those lifestyle choices, while not wrong in and of themselves, become my god. Lifestyle choices are part of everyone’s life, but we must make sure that our desire to be disciples of the Lord is leading the way not our desire for a convenient lifestyle. At times those may clash? Which wins?
Again, consider when we assemble together. Does my participation reflect my conviction or my convenience? If I deliberately miss Sunday morning, knowing I can come on Sunday night, which leads? If I come only when the time is convenient for me, rather than a desire to be transformed into the image of God, hasn’t my lifestyle choice for convenience ruled my conviction? Do lifestyle choices influence when we assemble? Yes. In every generation that has been true. But, when assembling occurs it should be determined by how this best will help me be transformed into the image of God. Not simply for my convenience or because that is what I like. Then when we assemble we will exhort one another to love and good works. We will admonish one another as we sing and praise God. We will be led by the preaching of His word. Why? Because our desire is to grow up to be like Him, whenever that happens.
Is our conviction determined by the size of the local church of which we are a member? Large or small (and who determines that) a church is just people. So do people in a smaller number allow themselves to be influenced by people in a larger number? Isn’t that carnal and superficial? Large or small, we should be led by God and His word. The favorite flavor of the day is a matter of convenience. It soon passes. Then another flavor comes around. However, if we walk with Him keeping His commandments our convictions will always be from an objective source, the mind of God rather than the fickly mind of fickle men. Large does not make a church better. Smaller does not mean a church has little meaning. All are of Christ, not men.
One more; our eternity will not be a matter of convenience. Our reward will be a result of God’s grace because we by faith have obeyed Him. His marvelous grace, inconveniently offered made it possible for me to be with Him. Conviction or convenience, which is our motivator?
- Rickie Jenkins