Friday, February 11, 2011
In my reading today I came across one of my favorite characters in the bible. In fact I wanted to name my son after this person but I was overruled by the majority of woman living in my house at the time (there are three males in the house now including Monty our resident dog and the men rule). He has always impresses me with his unwavering character and focus on staying true to his convictions. He was one of twelve spies that were sent out initially to spy out the promised land God was going to give Israel. He was one of two spies that came back and reported to Moses to go in and take the land. The person I’m talking about is Caleb.
Caleb (Joshua 14:7) was speaking to Joshua and was remembering forty years earlier in his life. He was speaking of his responsibility to spy out the land and bring back a report to Moses. He said that, “he brought back a report according to his convictions.” How easy is it today to just go with the flow. Not speak up when our principles are challenge because it might start an argument. How many have heard the saying, “I don’t want to say anything because it might hurt that person’s feelings. We know that what the person is doing or saying isn’t healthy, but rather than say something that might help that person grow in some way we find it convenient to go with the flow and are silent.
It would have been easy for Caleb and Joshua to go with the majority and ultimately the nation of Israel, but they stayed and spoke on their convictions. Going according to your convictions won’t win you friends at times. In fact you might be singled out and ostracized and ridiculed for your convictions. Sometimes your verbalized convictions that are not followed by the crowd can cause you to have to experience long-term consequences. Caleb had to wonder out in the wilderness for forty years before he was allowed to go into the promised land
Living by your convictions is often a lonely road. I went to a very small high school that included 40 in the high school in eastern Colorado. I was the only high schooler that went to church and was known as the preacher. There were times when I wasn’t invited to parties because of my convictions of not drinking or smoking. But as I look back on my life I feel good knowing that I lived according to my convictions and still try to live by my present convictions. That’s why I love Caleb so much because he didn’t back down from what he believed.
It’s important to ask ourselves what are our convictions and do we live according to them. Today is a good opportunity to change those areas that we have compromised and begin the process of living what we talk about. Sometimes it is a hard journey and a lonely one but there is always someone who has promised to be with you always no matter what you are faced with.