Friday, June 10, 2011

Build convictions from Truth-based principles

By Roger and Sue Farr
Roger and Sue Farr are leadership trainers and developers, writing on a subject close to their heart - leadership in the family.

It is really sad when family members each do their own things and home becomes no more than a nice hotel. It doesn’t have to be this way! You can make great decisions through strong personal convictions that are based on timeless principles of truth which will build and strengthen your family relationships.

Our premise is: Living life by truth-based principles leads to personal convictions that produce consistent decision-making. This process reduces tension in the home, work, and personal arenas.

The principles for wise decision making come from a Source of Truth every person, family, culture, or nation holds dear. The truths are timeless, available, and rock-solid. Open the book and read them for yourself!

Once you have identified truth-based principles that relate to the decision you need to make, you should study the principles and then develop personal convictions from the study. Below are three ways you can develop convictions from principles.

1. Read and study your Source of Truth personally to see specific commands of God and examples from people who really lived and who really learned

2. Read books by wise authors who led principled lives

3. Interact with mature people

Read and study your Source of Truth: Search for specific things God commands His children to be or do and to not be or do. Reflect on the lives of men and women in the past and learn from their examples. Ask God to reveal His truth to you and determine to live by that revealed truth.

Read books by wise authors: Ask yourselves, “What did God teach them? How did they run their lives differently as a result of the conviction?” Consider the reasons that they adopted the convictions they held. Identify what it is about their lives that you admire as a result of their convictions.

Interact with mature people: Recognize that wise, mature people may develop different convictions from the same truth-based principles. It may be hard to hear counsel that is seemingly contrary, but that counsel should spur you on to do further research and seek further counsel. You may change your personal convictions as you mature and as you gain more wisdom on a subject.

Let’s look at an example. One wise truth from ancient Hebrew writings says, “The eye that mocks a father and scorns a mother, the ravens of the valley will pick it out, and the young eagles will eat it.”

The principle is that God, through the natural laws of His creation, will handle foolish young people. There are several possible convictions one could develop and adhere to from this principle. Among them are:

• It is unacceptable to mock or to scorn parents

• Sin carries unintended consequences, sometimes including death

• We should not discipline committed fools; God will take care of them, and He will do it well

You could undoubtedly develop other convictions about this principle. From this list of convictions, we will draw specific decisions and action points in a family. We'll show you how to do this in the next article.

Begin making a list of decisions or issues with which you are concerned in your family. These will be areas where you will want to develop convictions.

Read and study your Source of Truth to discover stated principles. Memorize specific passages as reminders of the principles. List possible convictions you could draw from the principles. Discuss the list with your family. Learn to “play the movie” to consider any unintended consequences of each specific conviction.

Pray and ask God to show you which convictions are appropriate for you and your family at this time.

Make sure that each family member knows how and why your family developed specific convictions. Keep the principles and the convictions in front of the family often.

Train yourself, and then teach your family members, to say, “My family and I have a conviction about this because …” and then go on to clearly state what you believe and why. This will help each member to make wise decisions when no one else is looking.

Start small, keep close to the Source, and determine to hold the truth-based principles and convictions carefully.

Next article: How to make wise decisions based on convictions you develop.

No comments:

Post a Comment