I'm going through a process right now that I hope will bless the whole church eventually. The goal of the process is to rediscover the church's purpose and mission. But, one of the steps is to sit down and hammer out my core convictions - core beliefs, bedrocks that guide my decisions whether consciously or not. These are not beliefs that are forced on other people. These are MY guiding convictions that dictate my decisions and behavior. For example, one of my core convictions is that people need meaningful connections in life and it's my job to help them make those connections. I like to introduce people to one another and get them talking. Another of my core convictions is the importance of loyalty and dedication. There are people in my life who have been loyal to me and poured into me. I feel a strong sense of loyalty to the people and projects in my life. It's what keeps me working at something long after others have given up. I'm the guy who will keep working the problem or finding that next puzzle piece or strategizing solutions even when everyone else has moved on. I want to be a finisher. I also have a conviction that whatever the task I should be the hardest worker involved, leading by example. There are many more.
These are beliefs that come out of who I am - not necessarily because I trained myself to be this way. But if you press me, these are the convictions I fall back on. In certain situations I act and feel as I do because of these convictions. Sometimes our convictions are very right. As in the belief that the world is lost and its only hope is Jesus. Sometimes our convictions are very wrong. Like, The Detroit Lions will one day win the Super Bowl.
Our core convictions guide us even if we're not citing the specific related belief. Jody and I joke that throughout our married lives we've just done stuff. Things that might seem difficult or insurmountable, we just dive right in. It's not naivete. We just didn't let things intimidate us. If God was leading us we figured, "why not? Let's go for it." This goes for ministry initiatives, leaving our previous church and planting a new one and many decisions throughout the years. In doing this exercise of discovering my core convictions I realized one of them was simply, "I trust God to lead me". But I never cited that over the years. It was just a part of me. It drove my actions.
What are your core convictions? What are the beliefs, spoken or unspoken that drive your decisions and behavior? A convictions define what you believe at the very core of your being. They rarely change, they cause passion in you and they will travel with you wherever they go, and if they're godly, will still be viable 100 years from now. So review your past. Review your life lessons. What topics get you fired up? As you think about these questions, your core convictions will emerge.
Some more examples:
The Bible is true and relevant for all time.
Everyone needs Jesus
I should have a clean heart, hands and motives before God
Partnership with others is better than going it alone
Try it. What are the core beliefs driving your life?