*sigh* The theater day camp I’ve been helping at all week ended on Friday. I’d never assisted with any theater camps before, so you can imagine how nervous I was on Monday! The first few days , I was that girl who had no idea what to say or do, so she just clammed up and acted awkward. (At least, that’s how I felt– in reality, it probably wasn’t that bad.) Although everyone was extremely kind, I knew only a few people at camp, and even then, I’d only talked to them a couple of times before. It felt like “newbie” was written across my forehead in permanent marker.
BUT, after a some prayer and self-pep talks, I’d convinced myself to go back and finish my week at camp. Why? Because I believe in pushing through the challenges and finishing what you start. Each day, it became easier to walk into the camp facility. I began to challenge myself to slowly stretch out of my comfort zone– introduced myself to someone, played freeze-dance, started a conversation with the kid I’d been wanting to talk with all week, etc. And you know what? By the end of the week, I’d absolutely fallen in love with the campers, directors, and teen assistants. I’m so glad I chose to step out of my comfort zone! It was a wonderful week.
It was during this incredible week, as I met tons of amazing people, that I began to reflect on my personal beliefs and convictions. You see, even within the church, we all have so many different convictions and interpretations of Scripture. (Example: the whole “courting” vs. “dating” debate).
It was WAY easier when we were younger. Conversations about our beliefs went something like this:
Kid 1:”I can’t watch that show! It’s bad!”
Kid 2: “How is it bad?”
Kid 1: “I don’t know…my mom just told me it is!”
Boom. There you go. Mommy said “it’s” bad, therefore, you avoid “it” like the plague and relish in your righteousness.
However, we’re not 8 years old anymore.Now, we have to pray and begin to decide for ourselves what we believe and what our convictions are. AND, it’s probably a good idea to know WHY we have those beliefs and convictions. To make matters even more confusing, there seem to be a lot more gray areas. (“gray areas” are those things that are kinda iffy– ya know, up for personal interpretation.”Thou shall not kill” is a given. But there is no “Thou shall not watch Disney channel” in the Bible.) As previously stated, some believers are totally cool with one thing, while others may be totally against it. I’m not saying that’s right or wrong– just pointing out that it’s a reality.
I don’t know about you, but deciding and understanding my beliefs (especially if some of them go against the cultural– or even church– “norm”) is pretty terrifying! “What if I accidentally fall into heresy?” “What if I look like a religious weirdo?” And, of course, the one that we’re all secretly thinking but usually don’t admit– “What if someone disagrees with me?!”
Ahhh! It’s all so risky! What on earth are we supposed to do?!
Step out of our comfort zones. Choose to understand what we believe and hold fast to our God-given convictions.
” Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”~ Romans 12:2
I’m not going to tell you what to believe. But, I am going to tell you what I plan to do, as I continue on this journey.
1. Talk to God– a LOT. And pray about my decisions and beliefs. After all, at the end of the day, it’s His opinion that truly counts.
2. Search the Scriptures for instruction. Pray about the Scripture as well, because there are quite a few verses that could be interpreted differently.
3. Find some Godly leaders in my life, and talk with them! Ask them about their beliefs and how they came to their convictions.
4. Ask questions– specifically, “Why”. It’s probably my favorite question ever– and it makes people (including yourself!) think and gain understanding on why you believe what you believe. Asking questions does not mean you lack faith. It means that you trust Jesus to speak to you and give you the truth.
5. When me and the Holy Spirit agree with something, stick with that conviction. Even if you feel like you’re swimming upstream, against the current. After all, God created the stream we’re swimming in.
Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? Are there any beliefs you’re still trying to form an opinion about?