Time was when people could hold to some basic principles or live by personal convictions — decisions that may or may not be or may not’ve been popular — and yet they could sort of remain unspoken or undeclared. Publicly, anyway. Time was when people could hold to convictions and only a small circle of community would’ve been aware of the person’s or couple’s personal convictions. Now… not so.
With the advent of email, internet chat-rooms and bulletin boards in the 90’s… e-groups list mail and then the explosion of “social media” such “personal convictions” become public declarations. Write an article about it or write a book about it and, well, there’s the personal conviction in black and white for the whole world to read. And comment on.
Not lost on me is the fact that our personal convictions can, in many ways, be seen and read of all men. So, whether we say it or write it, whether social media publicizes it or not, others can view what we believe or see what our personal convictions are by the decisions we make or the lives we live (this is especially true when our walk doesn’t match our talk).
The influence of our decisions or personal convictions isn’t limited to our circle of “friends” bcz our sphere of influence is much greater than our sphere of acquaintance. It’s amazing how reputation (good! or bad!) spreads.
Awareness or visibility of a personal conviction doesn’t assure accuracy though… other people’s opinions of us or their evaluation of what they think we think or what they think we believe is usually skewed by their personal experience or their convictions.
Their assessment may be further skewed because sometimes our children don’t hold to the same convictions as they mature — thus, our convictions or beliefs are more critically scrutinized.
I read an article yesterday — didn’t have time to tweet about it, link it on FB or write something here — actually, it’s probably a good thing, too.
The article is a NYT article written about a couple who once held to (and wrote a book about) a particular belief they’ve since abandoned — conviction(s) they once embraced — they now denounce.
My mind immediately jumped to several conclusions: maybe they never really believed what they said they believed. Maybe they got all caught up in the literary experience — I mean, we’re all so eloquent, so much cooler online. Maybe they were following “a man” and not the Spirit of the Lord. Maybe they were deceived on purpose (a few will catch that one). Maybe they gave up too soon. Maybe they allowed little foxes to spoil the vine. Maybe they…
I could easily get caught up in all that… maybe it was this, maybe it was that…
And then I stop and think that my concern for this couple is more for another decision they abandoned: the decision to abandon their vows.
Their children will pay a steep price for it.
An article at Women of Grace [now formerly] Bethany & Sam Torode