Sticking to Your Convictions Isn’t Easy, But It Is Simple

Sticking to Your Convictions Isn't Easy, But It Is Simple | Millennials with Meaning
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In one of his daily prayer posts, Dutch Sheets recently quoted Ronald Reagan, and the statement has stuck with me ever since:

They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is right.

Ronald Reagan

There’s a difference between easy and simple. According to

Easy: not hard or difficult; requiring no great labor or effort; free from pain, discomfort, worry, or care

Simple: easy to understand, deal with, use; not elaborate or artificial

Simple does not equal easy.

When it comes to sticking to our convictions, our battle plan is often very simple. We know what we need to do. But do we do it? That’s the hard part. It’s simple, but it’s not always easy.

Several years ago I had very few local friends. Each week, a group of them would play Bingo together at a bar and grill in town. I didn’t feel right about going because even though the establishment was technically a restaurant too, most of the crowd at that time of night was there for the booze. I didn’t really have any other opportunities to hang out with people my age, though, so I made up my mind: If my friends would invite me, I would go. I wouldn’t drink any alcohol – I would order myself a Diet Coke – but I’d go.

They never invited me. Not once. All I was waiting for was one invitation, but weeks and then months went by without one. My friends talked about Bingo night very often but never once asked me to join them.

God totally protected me. (I was fleecing and didn’t even know it! Ha.)

Years down the road now, much older and hopefully wiser, I am so thankful he did. See, the choice to avoid an environment I sensed could be dangerous was simple. But it wasn’t easy.

I just wanted acceptance. I wanted community. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to have something to look forward to each week.

But I was willing to compromise my standards – even just a little bit – to get these things, and I knew better.

The plan to abstain was simple. But not easy.

This is true in so many areas of life:

  • You want to abstain from alcohol? Don’t buy it, don’t go to bars, don’t go to parties; don’t hang out with people who drink.
  • You want to lose weight? Don’t buy junk food, avoid drive-thrus; exercise regularly.
  • You want to remain a virgin until your wedding night? Don’t date people who have different standards than you, don’t spend time with your significant other after a certain hour; don’t spend unsupervised time together at all.
  • You want to get good grades? Do your homework, read your textbooks, show up to class; don’t procrastinate.

Simple? Yes. Easy? Not necessarily.

Decide what your convictions are. Make a game plan. Discipline yourself to follow it. And see victory.

It’s not easy. But it is simple.

Will you do what’s easy, or will you do what’s best?

Sticking to Your Convictions Isn't Easy, But It Is Simple | Millennials with Meaning
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There are 2 comments

  1. Sig James

    I’m sorry, but all i could think while reading this was, “when has anyone under the age of 50 been a regular attendee of ‘bingo night’..?”.

    Also, while abstaining from alcohol is certainly a legitimate choice, it is in no way some sort of higher moral conviction. After all, did Jesus not turn water into wine? And that was for people who were already drunk (that’s how they ran out of wine in the first place).

    Live your life however you choose, but don’t presume to have the moral high ground for refusing to drink alcohol, because you don’t.

    [for the record, i don’t drink]

    1. millennialswithmeaning

      The under 50 comment made me laugh – good point! This was a small town. 😊

      Choosing not to drink alcohol is a strong conviction of mine that I’ve discussed more in other posts, but I know many people who do not share this conviction. Reading David Wilkerson’s Sipping Saints also influenced my view of how the word for wine was translated. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me and it is not my intention to condemn, just to share some of my personal journey with God and hopefully offer some encouragement to those who can relate.

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