I dare you to post a conviction

September 27, 2011 | 82 comments. | Comment on this post

NOTE: This is a fairly long, intense, controversial message on convictions. The purpose being that convictions are a PRIMARY, necessary ingredient of most successfully self-employed people. If you can handle the personal, invasive nature of what I’m posing below, you’ll come out with possibly THE KEY…for your free agency.

Ready?

This past weekend I had the fortune to spend three days with 15 guys, all fervently pursuing the calling God has on their lives. Defined by…as our lead guide Gary Barkalow (www.TheNobleHeart.com) says, “The affect of who you are on others.” Or paraphrased by me for the sake of this post…how you uniquely impact, influence and serve others. What your heart is for people.

I facilitated one session of the event and felt led to focus on ‘convictions.’ Getting people to have and communicate their convictions…is one of my…convictions. Part of my calling actually. So, here is a quick case for, and a request for…convictions:

A Case For Convictions

DEFINED
Let’s define it really quick – conviction: a fixed or firm belief

Get that? It’s a BELIEF. Not a salvation issue. Not an absolute truth. Not a right or wrong. And in such, there is no place for self-righteousness. My feeling that you should not jump off the roof of my house is not really a conviction (belief), it’s absolute truth. Gravity. If you jump into a pool, getting wet is not a belief, it’s a fact. A truth. As a believer in the Bible, Christ claims He is the Son of God and salvation is through Him.  It’s a truth you either accept or reject. No middle ground. Thus it doesn’t fall into mere belief or ‘conviction’.

It’s also not PERSONAL TASTE or OPINION. I live in an area where it doesn’t rain much, because I don’t like rain. No belief or soapbox. I don’t drink beer because I don’t like the taste. I wish I did actually. But…I don’t. Just me, nothing more. I prefer wood furnishing over metal. I have nothing invested in this, it’s just something I like and choose.

POISONED
In our culture today, the only thing people stand for is…nothing. To have a belief, value, soapbox and conviction on anything personally and to share it is viewed as intolerant, narrow-minded, naive, self-righteous, judgmental…

Much of the reason is that convictions have been abused by people with a heart for themselves more than for others. Last night while on a date with my wife Teri in downtown Colorado Springs, there was a street menace preacher. Some poor soul on a street corner loudly speaking things of God and faith. It was abhorrent. And the truth is, he wasn’t ‘preaching’ to serve God or anyone around. He was doing it for himself. He was serving his own desire and errant attempt to earn a star in his heavenly cap or pay his penance. I don’t know which, but it was one of the saddest things I’ve seen in a long time.

Point being, he had a conviction to make a joke of himself on a street corner and the purpose was NOT to serve others. It was to serve himself.

Second problem, we have two cultures of the dreaded self-righteous that have done near irreparable harm to convictions:

  • The church
  • The enlightened

The church. ‘Christians’. I don’t think I need to dive into that dead sea to make my point. Self-righteousness flourishes and is as far removed from the Christ they claim to serve than a hotdog is from the next bunch.

The ‘enlightened’. These are the main critics of the former group, and just as abounding in self-righteousness in their intellect and self-realization. These folks eat healthy, live clean, have a wealth of knowledge on many subjects, well educated, affluent, question the norm…

They are both sickening in their own right and I sadly fit into BOTH groups. Their arrogance and misused authority are the primary poisons that have destroyed the beauty and necessity of true convictions.

Again folks, I have been a primary perpetrator of self-righteousness, and I’m ashamed of it. My wife was the second woman I respected who flat out, in sincerity, said I was an, and I quote, “Arrogant ass.” There is just no good way of looking at that. I apologize to all who I’ve poisoned during my 40 years. And I’m still not totally free from my tendency toward AAness.

OFFENSIVE
Convictions WILL step on toes, because they do in essence force you to state a claim for what you believe to be healthier and against what you believe to be unhealthy, and you undoubtedly have folks who believe in what you see as unhealthy. That’s the rub. To have a conviction that can help someone, you have to risk offending someone. I believe TV is overall unhealthy. Point blank, end of story. I love a great story, I like to be entertained, I have 7 kids that would enjoy it. But, we’ve never had TV, never will and we maybe watch one movie per week. I believe it’s best to be a character in life, not a spectator. And I don’t want media pumped into and influencing my home. Now there you go. Some will read this, it will CONVICT them, and they’ll lessen their TV watching to get rid of their TV. They’ll spend more time with family and working on their dreams and exercising and choosing activities that are healthier. Others will feel offended, judged, guilty…

That’s just the nature. But you can’t help some, if you don’t offend others. I wish it were easier, but it’s not. So stay safe and ineffective, or be dangerous and of worth.

Remember that guy…Jesus Christ? He spent his ministry sharing His convictions. It saved people. And got Him killed. You can’t do this safely. So what are you called to? Saving your own butt and keeping it clean? Are you a Christian and you nod your head in church when they speak of ‘persecution’ and say you’d die for your faith? You wouldn’t deny your Lord even if threatened with death? What if Christ has called you to share a conviction in an effort to help another? What if it doesn’t go well and you are persecuted? Hmmm….

Though you can help the persecution with this:

LET THEM KNOW YOU CARE
Everyone’s heard it, “People don’t care how much [or what] you know, till the know how much you care.” If you take your conviction and hit people over the head right away like the dreaded street preacher I mentioned, you’re pissin’ in the wind. Don’t bother. You have to do the work of proving your care for someone before your convictions will have merit. Which again is what dilutes the efforts of the 3 Musketeers I mentioned above; the ‘self-serving’, the ‘church’ and the ‘enlightened.’

You share convictions to serve, and you do it out of love.

NECESSARY
Convictions are necessary and glorious. They are needed more than the air we breath. Show me a movement that made the world a better place and gave health to the unhealthy, and I’ll show you one person who stood on that conviction out of a true heart to serve and love others.

True convictions are communicated and offered with a heart to serve and love. To as I said above, bring health to something unhealthy. Again, don’t get hung up on right or wrong or ‘sin’ or salvation.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
You have experienced mistakes in your life. You have regrets (or at least you should). You have had an unhealthy area that you became aware of, got counsel on (probably at the hand of someone else’s convictions) and became healthy in. And it’s a huge freakin’ deal! You might have been killing yourself with your diet, you changed it and found healing and new life, and now you have great value to offer someone else who is killing themselves!!

To be in the presence of a person suffering as you were, and keep what you were gifted with to yourself, is akin to being an accomplice to suicide. That’s not an exaggeration. Dwell on it a minute. And again, I’ll own up to my own admission. I’ve seen couples first hand who were killing their marriages with obvious acts of unhealth, where I had been given an gift of awareness, and I said nothing. NOTHING!  Why? I LOVED MYSELF MORE THAN I DID THEM. That’s not a belief, that’s absolute truth. I didn’t want them to offend and possibly have ill feelings toward…ME.

How often do we have knowledge that we know could help, and we let folks to straight to hell-in-a-handbasket because we’re too damn pansy to risk an offense. “Hey, Bart is now divorced/in prison/dead, but at least I didn’t say anything offensive and that would possibly have made him upset with ME/ME/ME/ME!”

Isn’t that what we do as a culture? Isn’t that what you do every day? Yeah, me too. Disgusting isn’t it?!

Again, it doesn’t mean you mouth off at every chance you get. You don’t rape people with your convictions. You woo them.

BOLD
Convictions must be communicated boldly and confidently to take root. Not loudly or obnoxiously. It can be quiet and firm. And it should have at least a hint of humility as fertilizer for it to flourish. I can boldly communicate my convictions on nutrition and against the American diet, even as I attest to my own journey and struggle and failing. But it’s not a place for timidity or wishy-washyness. It will merely skip off the surface like a flat stone thrown over water.

KEY TO FREE AGENCY

Go look at your bookshelf, the nonfiction books you think are just killer. Go look at your DVD collection of favorite movies and those that inspire you. Go read Fast Company or Inc. or Entreprenuer magazine that touts all the rock star businesses.

What you’ll find at the heart is…a conviction. A belief.

Yet here go most folks who want to do something great and worthy, be self-employed and free, and they are looking for an opportunity.

They’re looking in the wrong place!

Look to your convictions. We can take your conviction and MAKE an opportunity. A conviction is the fuel that will overcome ANY obstacle put in your way and truly serve others. I’m typing in my office on the second floor of my straw bale house that consists of probably 50 supposed truths that many wise people cited and told me my way WOULD NOT WORK. My convictions saw me through and here I sit.

Again, a conviction is a belief that commits you and can serve people. ‘Serve’ being the operative word. If you are think that ear rings in men are wrong, there is really no serving in there. That’s merely personal taste and opinion. Some of my uber conservative Christian brethren would like to say it’s a sin to pierce ones self. If so, go back up to the definition. They are then stating a supposed truth. Conviction is personal belief in something…healthier. And for the record, my wife thinks my ear ring is sexy, so I’m wearing it. If she thought a sideways ear-to-ear mohawk was sexy, I’d be running to the barber (that’s one of MY convictions).

YOUR CHARGE: GROW SOME COJONES & SPEAK. NOW
SO…right now, let’s do something together. Speak a conviction. Speak 10. I’m pretty sure that many of you have a list of convictions that you live out as a part of your life and your families. But you may have believed them to be ‘personal’ because you didn’t want to ‘judge.’

If you keep your knowledge from me, you are robbing me. And DON’T JUDGE! Be humble and compassionate and caring. And resolute.

Do it out of your care for others, but I’ll affirm that your free agency might very well be riding on this exercise right here.

Remember, you do it in love, but with absolute understanding that you WILL step on toes. As a matter of fact, I’m not posting my own list in the comments until someone steps on my toes!

Note: If you sit back and realize you don’t have any convictions, you are in unfortunate, but good company. Having and sharing convictions is not the norm anymore. Wait as the comments come in here and see if any light a fire under you.

Ready…set…go!


LATE NIGHT UPDATE:

It’s 11pm on the night I posted this. The comments are rolling in and I’m going to further expound on this tomorrow. Below are three things:

  1. The audio of the show I did today on this topic where I read it, expounded and read the first 8 comments that came in (there are 18 at this exact moment),
  2. FAU_Show


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    Free Agent Underground Show – “I dare you to post a conviction”

     

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  3. An amazing, killer, profound, truthful, bold-faced, ‘convicted’ video on ‘CONVICTIONS’ by poet Taylor Mali. I’ve shown this video at my last three Free Agent Academy events, and at my recent leading of a session at Gary Barkalow’s Noble Heart – Basecamp event:
  4.  


  5. Another video titled “Do you make a difference (What teachers make)” from Taylor (who I’m finally contacting since I’m obviously a fan and promoter) just to showcase what an impassioned conviction looks and feels like. And folks, you don’t have to be an extrovert and on video to adequately share a conviction! (dedicated to my mother-in-law Pat Johnson, a lifelong teacher of at-risk children in Austin, TX, and my father Dan Miller, a teacher of men and women around the world.

Note: there are many postings of this video, one with over a million views. This one ‘only’ has 87,000, but the audience seems to be much more in tune and it is the one that inspires me the most)
 

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathanael.schulte Nathanael Schulte

    Like a lot of people on here, I’m personally on the debt-free band wagon.
    I hold very tightly to it and won’t be wavering from it again.

    A couple years ago, I thought I might be interested in attending law school. I sent an email to a friend who was in law school at the time. I knew he had debt, cause he had shared it in small group once.I made a point to say, “this is my conviction and not a comment on your situation” while asking if he knew of ways to pay for law school without debt.
    He proceeded to ask me if I thought I was being extreme, and started a prolonged email argument about it.
    I was nice, but firm, and told him unless God himself appeared in person and told me to, I was not going to take out a student loan. 
    I love the emotional release of paying down the debt we have so far, and there’s no way I’m going back.

    I hope he’ll come around to my point of view one day for his own sake, but I love him either way, and I made that clear :)

  • http://www.OperationsStrategyLLC.com Megan E Burns

    Kevin, Following are my core convictions that I use in my life and my business.

    1. Do not settle, always challenge the status quo, keep striving/learning.
    2. You are in control of your life, not your circumstances. (Your life might stink or was tough, what are you going to do now as a result of it or to change it?)
    3. Failure is not an option. I may have to find another way, but I trust my path to God, and my God lives in the realm of the impossible.
    4. I am blessed so I can be a blessing.

    • http://www.OperationsStrategyLLC.com Megan E Burns

      Kevin,

      Just listened to the replay and your comments about these being personal beliefs versus convictions and challenging me to to really get to my core convictions. So I’m going to take another stab at  this.

      If I look at my initial list, it comes down to don’t play the victim. Apathy KILLS the human spirit. While I want to be understanding and not judgemental, I don’t care how tough your life was. We all have it tough in some way, suck it up and take responsibility for your life, don’t just sit around looking for a hand out. If you do, all you are going to be is a drain on society. If you hate your job, go find something else or start your own business, lots of us have. I moved to a city where no one knew who I was and busted my butt to build this company and reputation, don’t tell me you can’t, it’s a matter of will you and what will you sacrifice to change your life. God made you for something great; tap into it and become who he made you to be instead of just existing.

      And while I’m at it I’ll really go out on a limb and say keep your hand offs what I’ve created and earned. I will not take what you’ve earned (and lord knows I’ve been in positions where I legally could have) so don’t take what I’ve earned. I love to be generous and give to others, but I want to be the one who decided what I give and to whom. Just because you breathe does not entitle you to what I’ve created. If you want something, go create it and earn it for your self. I will be glad to help you figure out how to do that and I’ll encourage you along the way, but don’t be a leach on society.

      • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

        Excellent Megan! This statement is raw and good, “Don’t play the victim.
        Apathy KILLS the human spirit. While I want to be understanding and not judgmental, I don’t care how tough your life was. We all have it tough
        in some way, suck it up and take responsibility for your life.” I’d offer that I bet you DO really care how tough life is for the person who got hurt, but you don’t care in regards to them using it as an excuse to not act and overcome. You and I are kindred spirits sister. And you are making things happening and growing your influence so you can serve in your convictions. I’m proud to know you.

  • http://www.andytraub.com Andy Traub

    Parents who can afford to raise their own children but pay someone else to raise them 8+ hours a day are shortchanging their children and neglecting their responsibility as parents. Daycare us unnecessary for 95% of parents.

    • http://www.thenonconformistfamily.com Joshua Gordon

      You’re such a freakin’ hero, @andytraub.

    • Mark Hopkins

      Amen Andy!  I can’t afford it… we always get by with barely enough to live on my modest wage job…and I still believe ALL Christian parents need to raise their children, especially if there is a mother and a father.  If I lost my wife, and were all alone… I’d still raise my children.  I’d move into a cheap dump or trailer and fix things and teach lessons out of my home and take my kids with me everywhere and homeschool them in the evenings… because I LOVE my children.  Yeah, it would be hard, and I would need help sometimes.  But my children are worth it, and God gave them to me!

      • Helmcrw73

        If more parents would choose to be parents instead of buddies to there children we wouldnt need all the fancy drugs to keep kids under control. Teach there kids to respect one another and people around them. I have seen alot of parents neglect there kids and there kids will do whatever it takes to get there attention. All the need is parents who care,listen,and teach them the right way to live life and quit letting tv and society do it for them.

        • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

          You mean kid’s behavior is a result of parenting/training and not just luck of the draw? I think you just squashed some toes. Beautiful.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Absofreakinlutely

  • http://www.thenonconformistfamily.com Joshua Gordon

    My conviction? Dads and husbands ignited to provide for their families – truly provide. 

    This means rejecting the very normal mindset of ‘bring home a paycheque and sign off on any further responsibility’. This means being present in our kids lives. This means refusing the expectation that mothers “by necessity” must put their passions on the back burner; we’re meant to provide space for our wives to pursue their calling. This means understanding the limitations of a traditional employment structure that rarely allows (let alone equips) us to have the impact on the world that we’re meant to have.

    It’s like a fire in my chest, Kevin.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Absolutely Joshua, I dig this statement, “rejecting the very normal mindset of ‘bring home a paycheque and sign off on any further responsibility’.”

  • Don Current

    I too am convicted that debt as a way of life is damaging our lives and families.

    I am convicted that the church is its own worst enemy and that it needs to quit all of these silly traditions we have created and get back to living like they did in Acts. A community concerned for one another.

    I am convicted that my children’s character and development is FAR more important than our financial security or my future retirement and therefore I will not go back to a high paying, unfulfilling job that demands my time and attention at the expense of my children.

    I am convicted that we need to continually grow and improve ourselves. We cannot sit back and say we are fine the way we are and that it is everyone else that needs to change. We need to read and listen to people/beliefs that will challenge us, not coddle us.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      This is a great body of conviction Don, and stoked that you are pursuing ways to serve others within them

  • http://www.3cordcrew.com Anthony Plack

    I am convicted that modern business practices and school teachings seek to enslave people into mediocrity and I have been a part of this in my past.  I am convicted that I am still working my old business based on these fallacies rather than my new business.  If somehow I had woken up earlier, I would have a solution for so many hurting people who are unemployed.  I wake up each day, knowing that I MUST do something to change the tide, and move closer.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      The best and truest convictions come from personal experience, no doubt

  • Anonymous

    Kevin,
     My Conviction: I have the responsibility to be the leader in my house. That’s Huge, That means making the tough decisions and the unpopular ones too. When I am leading through Serving my wife , all is well . She has put me in charge of many things and she serves our family in her areas of gifted-ness. Ultimately God has put the burden on me to lead my household , Come on men Pick up mantle of leadership and do the tough stuff. I see too many broken women coming for help in financial ministries etc.Where are the men ,  Men Step it up ..PS. I think you spelled Cojones incorrectly, but I got your point, I don’t know how to spell it either. 

    • http://www.thenonconformistfamily.com Joshua Gordon

      I think it’s cajones. But I’m sorta in the dark, too…

      • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

        In the dark with your cajones Joshua? That’s going to far to discuss here…

        John, I dig your conviction brother. Preach it

  • markkoeks

    1. Take care of your health, INVEST in your health with regular exercise, healthy eating and frequent eating. If you choose to never exercise, and constantly make poor eating decisions – stop complaining that you’re “overweight” or “feeling fat” – look after your body and your body will take you places. 

    2. Push boundaries, never be satisfied with what you’ve got. If you’re not happy, do something. ACT. 

    • http://www.thenonconformistfamily.com Joshua Gordon

      I like you, Mark.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nathanael.schulte Nathanael Schulte

    As a worship leader, as a matter of practice, I use my electric guitar 99% of the time, and I play it loudly and disruptively, and I do it on purpose.
    It’s my conviction that too much reliance on the standard, Chris Tomlin-esque, musically non-offensive worship songs is boring and puts people to sleep. Just turning up the volume can do wonders for you.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      That sounds like a conviction Nathanael. Turn it up brother!

  • Jack Lynady

    Enjoy my life.

  • Curtis Stewart

    My conviction (s)
    I ALWAYS question authority. You say you are in charge, Prove it.
    Respect is earned.
    Same with followship. If I am going to follow someone, they durn sure better be a leader or I am either taking over or taking off.
    Many people given the opportunity and circumstances will lie and steal. Myself included. I will not take a store clerk for a dollar but given the opportunity to take a million dollars, I admit I would be tempted. And sometimes I do fudge on the truth to ease my conscience.
    We should strive for perfection but 90% will usually work. And getting anal over something not being done perfectly will result in a ulcer.
    Hovering parents should get a life.
    A person who will not work should not be fed,housed or clothed.
    People who will not work up to their abilities are stealing from their clients or employers..

  • David K Campbell

    I hold the conviction that everything the Bible says about marriage is true.  I also hold the personal conviction that I should love God first and love my fellow man as I do myself second only to God. I also believe I should serve God, ministering where he leads.  In addition, if the Lord leads me to a flying job, especially where I am taking people on missions, I will go and do what the Lord leads there, too.

  • Jason Garey

    It is my conviction to love, honor and uplift others because God cherishes them. It seriously infuriates me to witness people, especially the
    weakest among us and those in a vulnerable state, get lied to, held captive,
    and then run over. I get really irritated at myself when I do it. God help me. 

  • Dr. David Powers

    This is just something that personally bothers me, which, I guess makes it a conviction. I believe people should take care of their bodies. I look around at some of the smartest, most Christian-esque people I know and they’re slobs, big fat Jabba the Hut looking slobs. If God called them to do anything beyond getting off the couch or led them to start a business that didn’t involve sitting at a desk all day eating potato chips, they’d have to let God know that it just ain’t gonna happen. Treating their temple like crap robs a lot of otherwise good people of opportunities.
    I hope I’m not coming across as too harsh, but this is something I’m personally running into in my own family. Young people running into obesity-related diseases in their twenties and middle aged folks who can barely function. This absolutely cannot be what God intended.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1482930901 Jake Woldstad

      You stole mine! I’ll post mine: if people claim they want to be healthy and aren’t, they are either too lazy or  too undisciplined and don’t really want to be healthy. I’m working on a blog post about this.

      • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

        No doubt. I am a glutton at heart and fight my food addictions daily (written with a hint of chocolate left in my mouth, even as I’m trying to stay away from sugar)

    • http://www.facebook.com/nathanael.schulte Nathanael Schulte

      One some level, I get where you’re coming from, but as someone who’s struggled with his weight most of his adult life, I’m liable to just say f—- you and not listen further. I also have friends who need to lose far more weight than I do and I can tell you, there’s a whole load of emotional problems inside those very hurt and timid friends.  

      Really, what is the point of being that offensive?

      Actually, I know why this bothers me so much now. It’s really crossed into the territory of hating the sinner as much as the sin, and I think that goes too far.

      • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

        That IS the point though Nathanael. You may not like his delivery, but he’s sharing his burden for folks handicapping themselves. It frustrates him regarding people in his life. He wants better for them. I asked folks to share bluntly here. This doesn’t mean he is going to walk up to someone and lambast them. He wants to help free them.

        But if he worried too much about offending and saying it ‘just right’ he probably wouldn’t share. And that…is the problem. Risk offending.

        • http://www.facebook.com/nathanael.schulte Nathanael Schulte

          So, I’m going to quote you directly from the post:

          “And DON’T JUDGE! Be humble and compassionate and caring. And resolute.”‘

          You also spent a long time talking about how much you had judgmental religious types and elitists.

          There was a way to be resolute about the point without judging, and I think this crossed that line.

          • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

            Yep, I wrote what I believe to be true and what I strive for. Can’t say I do it right all the time though, and for the purpose of this post, am trying to pull people out to state convictions even if they don’t do it perfectly. Cause most…are keeping it to themselves. I think David led with his frustration as he thought it through. You should hear my wife go off on TV!

          • http://www.thenonconformistfamily.com Joshua Gordon

            As someone who’s struggled with his weight for his entire life as well, I can identify with where Nathanael’s coming from.

            That being said, I’ve recently made some huge life changes and have lost almost 30 pounds since August. I’ve been working damned hard – and it’s interesting for me to observe the relationship between my own insecurity and oversensitivity to this issue and my weight.

            I used the emotional effects of my weight to justify my physical condition. Just a thought.

          • http://www.facebook.com/nathanael.schulte Nathanael Schulte

            Sure, and I’ve done the same. I also know what it’s like to be in a spot where it’s just not working for periods of time, and I’m fighting to keep going. 
            I’ve had times like that and I could feel some of the unspoken judgment from some people. What I’ve found really rare are the ones who bother to take the time to say something with care.

          • http://www.intensityforlife.com/ Jake Woldstad

            I struggled with my weight and am finally getting to the point where I feel fit and healthy and it has been TOUGH. I think the reason that David’s statement struck a cord so hard is that he is speaking the truth. Of course, he could have left out the “Jabba the Hut” part, but his point right on. Too many people are unhealthy AND unwilling to do anything about it.

            I have people tell me all the time how “lucky” I am to be thin and fit. Talk about a slap in the face. Luck had nothing to do with it. And trust me, my appetite didn’t make it easy.

            I understand the struggles of going through fat loss and hitting plateaus, but it is worth it to fight your way through it.

          • http://www.facebook.com/nathanael.schulte Nathanael Schulte

            Absolutely agreed. 
            In the end, I don’t think this argument about weight loss. I think it comes down to where that line is that being offensive is just being offensive and serves no purpose.

          • Jason Garey

            You’re right Nathanael, it serves no purpose to be offensive. In David’s defense, it’s difficult to express our convictions in the same manner as Jesus did, because He was without sin and we’re born into it. I think we’re best to, as Paul stated in 2 Cor. 12, boast in our weaknesses, concentrate on working out our own faith and let Christ’s love overflow into the lives of others. And if we can’t share the truth in love, then we should keep our mouths shut or risk turning people away from God. And that benefits no one. God bless!

          • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

            Great thread here that hits to the core of issues with sharing conviction. Yes, anytime we attach a derogatory term, we’re getting into trouble. But even in that, usually the anger is at the problem, not the person. Thus my post about knowing our convictions, and walking them out in a way that loves and serves better.

          • http://www.facebook.com/nathanael.schulte Nathanael Schulte

            Actually, I guess I disagree that most people don’t say it. 
            I don’t think people’s frustration is generally a secret. On the contrary, it usually comes out whether people say anything or not, myself included.

  • Victoria Jones

    I question everything. I have stopped “drinking the Kool-Aid” and jumping off the cliff with the rest of the lemmings. I still work on this, but I’m learning to Woman up, and make the decisions that are best for me, and my family.

    Never surrender. Work above, below, or around the problem, but keep working it.

  • Eric Haselhorst

    My convictions:
    1. If our Churches want people in the door, contributing time, talent, and treasures with others, the Pastors, Priests, and lay leaders much create a church people want to be a part of. A place to fall in love.
    2. God made each of unique and special, we can honor God by discovering it and living it out in work, church, and home.
    3. If you tell me it can’t be done, I’ll call you an idiot and go do or find someone who can.

    • Don Current

      I particularly like #3! I HATE negative people. I’m working very hard to eliminate my associations with people who are always negative.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      I’m hearing…the church must love and serve more than teach and perform. And agree brother!

  • http://www.needleforthechristianbubble.com Joe Lalonde

    A conviction I have:

    Seeing churches get back to a place of being not afraid of offending. Jesus said our faith will be offensive to others. It will pit brother against brother, father against son, etc….

    So often churches are willing to coddle and baby Christians for fear that they’ll stop donating or coming to the church. I have a conviction to see the church call out sin. To be like Jesus and tell people “You’re healed. Go and sin no more” instead of “Go and sin some more.” Two people living together and having sex before marriage? Go and sin no more… Homosexual acts… Go and sin no more… Gossiping congregants? Go and sin no more… Getting drunk? Go and sin no more…

    Lord knows I should have been called out by the church for some of the things I’ve done. Even knowing that, I feel a conviction that the church needs to get to the point of calling people out and telling them to sin no more.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      absofreakinlutely Joe. I’ll read this on today’s show. thanks.

      • http://www.needleforthechristianbubble.com Joe Lalonde

        Thanks Kevin. I’m glad I could contribute to this discussion and your show. You’ve been a huge inspiration to me to get something outside of normal work going.

    • Mark Hopkins

      YES!!!

  • Kimgerodimos

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post today. As I have struggled over the past 8 months trying to figure out what God wants me to do, I took to the pen. And I have been blogging ever since. God put me on this path. I have shared my struggles, my triumphs, my defeats; all things we all go through. If I can help someone else by sharing my story and my total faith in God then my writing is a good thing. I have started to make my list of convictions. Thank you for your candidness and honesty.   liveboldlife.com  Kimberly Rae

  • Janet Howard

    Two issues that burn in me:  And full disclosure:  I’m Catholic, glad to be so, and saddened that so many Catholics don’t know Jesus in a personal way, but we’re working on that. All of my current friends do.  Thankfully.    Also, I totally believe that Abba God is the Author of Life.  I’ve also come to the conclusion that tampering with the natural design of that life is offensive to Him.  So, no surprise, I’ve said it in classes:  I am against abortion.  So, my two burning issues:  If Catholics would stop using contraception, abortion would cease to be an issue.  Not that Catholics are getting all that many abortions, but the mentality that uses contraception is the mentality that morally allows for abortion. And second issue:  Again, considering that Abba God is the Author of Life, I also believe that embyronic stem cell research and euthanasia constitute the taking of life.

    Additional full disclosure:  I was foolish during my marriage.  Though Catholic, not completely educated in my Faith, I used contraception.  For years.  17-year marriage ended in divorce.  I have since learned that since the marriage was not “open to life” we had little chance for survival.  Now, I’m leaning on Divine Providence for all.  Hopefully the Lord will use all these broken pieces for His glory.  Taking steps within FAA to make that happen.  To Him be the glory.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Nice. Now how to use that conviction to serve…

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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1482930901 Jake Woldstad

    You are responsible for making your own luck: http://www.intensityforlife.com/2011/09/the-lucky-curse/

  • Anonymous

    Hum…..you reminded me of a post I wrote back in April on what I would stand for.  I read over it today and it stands firm, maybe even more intense.  Here’s the cool part, if you had asked me to write my convictions about 2 years ago before FAA was known to me, my answers would have been less than anything notable.  Sure, I would have talked about bein a wife and a mama…blah blah blah. It would have been grossly lacking in heart, depth, and intensity.
    So, if I haven’t figured out a business yet, at least I KNOW what the hec I would go out and FIGHT for!
    That…..is a pretty cool accomplishment to me.

    Here is the link to my convictions:
    http://redeemingcarolyne.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/hum-what-would-i-stand-for/

    Carolyne

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Read it, it’s killer, think I’ll source it

  • John Hard

    Too much Christian teaching today by-passes the heart and is not based in God’s love for us as the foundation for all else. This puts much of the Christian teaching today in the category of a performance based, duty driven, religious system…the very thing that pissed Jesus off 2,000 years ago. 

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Amen brother John! Sounds like your conviction then, is to put the love of Christ back in the church, eh?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cindy-Lara/1589330270 Cindy Lara

    I am disgusted with the medical community that is trained primarily by Big Pharma. When people go door to door pushing their vaccines on people who have clearly opted out for ethical and logical reasons- and then, arrest home churches? Many of our diseases are caused by Big Pharma. 80% of most medicine goes into our drinking water. California has now made it legal to vaccinate a child with the child’s consent. I personally think Bill Gates is  wrong in bringing vaccinations to a 3rd world country and offering incentives to the government to make sure all get vaccinated. (These governments then hold the families at gunpoint to enforce the new rules). If people knew all the risks and ingredients in medicine- they would find a way to cut back until they could eventually be healthy. I have several sources that have helped me come to my thought process. The first is PROVE.ORG. A vaccine is designed to compromise your cells boundaries. Each vaccine affects each person differently and yet our medical community says “one size fits all”. So, after your body is turned into Frankenstein, people have the gall to criticize those who are sickly looking. Obesity is a form of cancer. When you can see an obese person as sickly, then, you can strategically find ways to help them- not condemn them. A cancer cells function is “to grow”. A fat cell is growing out of control. Yes, I know, it is more complicated than this, but you don’t want a book and I won’t be there for the discussion today. There are many cancer cures – under the radar – because the Big Pharma isn’t able to profit off of them. When you are able to get people off the FDA (fraud death administration) process, then they are able to heal and have the body God meant for them to have. Unfortunately, it is cheaper to buy soda than a water purifier. It is easier to go to the “free” clinic and take the medicine that is provided for free or at a discount. Most insurance will not pay for treatment that prevents obesity and therefore, poor health. Insurance rewards clinics and drug stores that push the most flu vaccines. I used to blindly follow any doctors advice, because I thought they were experts. Then, I opened my eyes to people who weren’t getting healed and comparing them to those who were getting healed. Maintenance of several questionable medicines over many years is not healing…. So… I am truly disgusted by the medical community that dupes the majority into taking quantities of medicines that go into my families drinking source.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Nice conviction and rant Cindy. So now…how can you take this conviction and help people?

  • Mark Hopkins

    As Jesus said, if a part of your body causes you to sin, CUT IT OFF!  To me this means, if you are in a relationship causing you to be impure, in a job or Business that causes you to cut corners, mislead, water down the truth, be dishonest, etc…, or alone in a hotel room being tempted by adult entertainment, CUT IT OFF from your life.  Quit the job, change the business, end the relationship, stop staying alone in hotel rooms. 

    God promises a way out… So if you believe that Jesus died for you to save you… and he provides for the flowers and birds, HOW MUCH MORE will He provide for you if you boldly say ENOUGH to the world and everyone around you and follow Jesus… even to scary dark places. 

    I feel that many Christians in business or in jobs lie cheat and steal everyday to make a better profit or recruit more people into their scheme, knowing full well, that when their customers or recruits learn everything they will leave out of lack of trust… then these same Christians excuse it by repeating statistics or saying “I didn’t put a gun to their head”.  Marketing is a dangerous road if you are doing anything but spreading the word about a good product or service… Too much glossiness and repositioning becomes a charade and will leave customers disappointed with the actual product or service… it’s not what faithful people do.  God will provide the blessing, if we try to take it without obedience and trust in Him to provide it, we will be cursed.  I know from personal experience.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      I dig your starting conviction Mark. We justify so much cause we aren’t willing to pay the price for what is best.

  • http://www.intensityforlife.com/ Jake Woldstad

    OK, let me try again. I believe “luck” is something we make. When people call someone lucky, they are unwilling to acknowledge the hard work, sacrifice and effort that went in to the person achieving that result. Weight loss, finances, success: none of it involves luck.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      I’ll give you a hearty ‘amen’. We claim others as lucky as a cop out for doing the work that prepares us for an opportunity

  • Hojo52

    Exploitation offends me greatly.  I love to see people succeed and it doesn’t bother me at all if they have a nice home and drive a nice car.  But it bothers me a lot, especially if they claim to be a Christian, when they become filthy rich and live like royalty.  Two reasons: 1st – They shouldn’t have gotten filthy rich if they weren’t exploiting their customers and/or their employees.  2nd – If they accumulated great wealth, they ought to be sharing it.  What a feeble justification to hear someone say “Well, I put up the original $10k and a lot of sweat equity for that business…” to justify their daily rounds of gold and luxurious travels while their loyal employees have been making or keeping them rich.

    Howard

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Big toe-stepper here Howard. And I agree, we are called to be stewards of our money, and you either treat it like it’s yours, or God’s, eh?! I’m surprised someone hasn’t hit back on this one…

  • Shel_craig

    I have to say, firstly, that although I know this is a predominantly Christian group, that I am disappointed that you would call out those of us who are unsure of our faith as being self-righteous (perhaps you only meant those who shout loudly about the church being bad, I’m not sure). But I guess that’s your right. 

    My convictions (mostly personal, non-work related):-Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs as long as those beliefs do not harm others. 
    -When not paying attention, you are the person your parents taught you to be (like it or not), so it pays to pay attention. 
    -I see no way of rehabilitating pedophiles. They should be charged and sentenced as severely as murderers. 
    -Bullies are small-people trying to act big. 

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      You have to define ‘harm’. If it’s literal malice, I agree. But the point is that a conviction will offend some people who disagree or feel they are victims of your belief. Such as your statement on pedophiles. Someone is a mother of an accused pedophile and that statement ‘hurts’ her, but you say it boldly. And that’s OK, isn’t it?

  • Brent Franklin

    I start by saying that I hate politics and politicians, believe they are all pretty much liars. However, I have a conviction that it is wrong, simply unfathomable to me, how “christians” can vote for a politician who supports abortion. Killing an unborn child is murder. Straight up no question. I don’t care if its first trimester, first week or first day. God has breathed life into us and given us the ability in His likeness to create life. How can we then take away an innocent life before it starts and rationalze that? Ya Know?

    • http://www.thenonconformistfamily.com Joshua Gordon

      Brent, your comment about politics/politicians is heavy with judgement (not cool in my books). You’re clearly a passionate guy, so I hear where you’re coming from.

      Abortion is (at worst) the murder of a single unborn child. I have a conviction that ignoring the environmental issues that are facing us is far worse. Willfully contributing to the ecological mess we’re in has generations-long, humanity wide repercussions. Hundreds of thousands of lives are permanently effected from the effects of our pollutants and wastefulness. And we ignore it, our actions threaten the existence of millions not only today – but for years and years to come. What does that say about supporting politicians who refuse to be environmentally aware?
      Just wanting to bring some balance.

      On Wednesday, September 28, 2011, Disqus <

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Politics has definitely been diluted by a majority who are in it to benefit personally above serving those they would claim to. But what I hear in this is a primary conviction of one or both:
      – Lack of integrity and morality in politics/government
      – Abortion

      Yes?

  • Jason Garey

    I am passionate about the power of a praying couple. 

    To
    intercede for one another and for our children is invaluable and critical,
    especially in these turbulent and uncertain times. When she is weak, when she
    falters, am I not willing to ask for God’s loving touch on her life? And when I am
    tossed about by life’s storms, does she not hold me up and cry out to the One
    who calmed the sea with three words? No, she does not, for she no longer
    believes. I am alone. Yet in the midst of turmoil and trial, our great God is
    faithful in upholding us and even in perfecting my faith. 

    Yes, I am passionate
    about the power of a praying couple. And if you are so blessed, be thankful to God
    each time you clasp hands and kneel together before the Throne of Grace. 

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Hey, I agree, and do a lot, but not near enough focus here, so this convicts me

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502468988 Jelena Ovari

    (My apologies in advance, Kevin, for recycling one of your convictions, but this is one of my top ones):
    TV is for losers. I’m not going to apologize for hurting your feelings; perhaps your anger might spur you on to consider living the life God has given you, instead of living vicariously through ‘reality tv’, or your top 46 sitcoms, or your soaps, or even your obsession with the
    news (be a news MAKER, or someone who is active in the world to CHANGE what you lament about on the news.)

    My disdain for tv has come from first hand experience of the plug-in-and-check-out-of-reality phenomenon. I have almost always walked away hating myself for the hours I’ve wasted peering at a screen. Ever spoken to a drug addict of 30 years? They hate themselves, they hate their drug, they hate that they can’t stop, and they hate that they ever started. I’m not going to mince words — I have a degree in the neuroscience of addiction: tv is a dirty, life-sucking narcotic, and there is very little that makes it a good idea for every day consumption. Morphine after surgery to control the pain? Check. A dirty hit of heroin on the street? Stupid. If you’re demanding, “why the parallel, this is absolutely absurd!”, you have too much tv in your system: you need to get clean, throw yourself into a week of fasting and experience a painful withdrawal that may very well SAVE your life. When you live your life AROUND your favourite shows or sports teams, and when you trade in the miserable reality of your life for a time-wasting, fruitless substitute, that is highlighting your dependence on it. 

    I’ve seen my parents waste at least 30 years of their lives plugging into the tube, every single bloody day of the week. Come home from work. Eat dinner. Turn on the tv. Go to bed. The brilliant part? They both watch it, but in separate rooms — they don’t even watch it together! Now let’s add the icing: it has destroyed our opportunity to build any sort of a meaningful relationship, to the point where, when I visit, all they want to do is to have me sit with them WHILE they watch tv. Screwed up much? Yes. 

    Don’t get me wrong, tv has done some cool things, like channel the news into millions of homes in such a way that radio never could; it has unified whole countries as they cheer on their team in the Olympics; but, it has also ruined the potential in a few generations of people, and bread a horribly widespread disease: APATHY. Jesus said that he has come to give us an abundant life (truth!); tv is an abundant life destroyer (conviction), much like the thief.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Now that Jelena, is a conviction. Beautiful. And I fully agree. TV is just a cultural norm, same as fast food. And both are killing people. And those who justify TV are comparably justifying a raw carrot hidden inside a crap sandwich. The harm overwhelms a small, possible benefit. With the internet to get any info you want (news) there is now no justification for TV. Preach it and help save people Jelena.

  • Helmcrew73

    disrespectfull people.  people who smoke near my family or me. people who cant change lanes to help another get in. people who think the matter more than me. My wife works at a grocery store and youd be suprised at how many people get meat or milk put it in there cart and decide the dont want it then set in on a shelf to rot. If people had a little respect for there fellow  man we could all start to get along. Many young people think the elderly are a nuicence and are to slow. If the took the time and had some respect for there elders they would realize the elderly are some of the coolest and most interesting people theyll ever meet. I try to demand respect from people around me. If we can have a mutual respect for each other then we seem to become the best of friends. So one of my convictions would have to be respect.

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      A message of character. Kevin, this is big and worthy of you pursuing a platform to influence people

  • Non_e_mouse

    Okay, I can give you a few convictions.

    1.  TV is a complete and utter waste of time.  And here’s a video of a very old song by Farrell and Farrell that pretty much sums that up:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mA9DYdP2U6w  (Just how much do people learn from the box, anyway?)
    Lyrics are here, if you want to read them: http://www.lyricstime.com/farrell-farrell-people-in-a-box-lyrics.html

    2.  This one will probably really step on toes, but whatever.  So be it.  If anyone, calling themselves a Christian, feels they have the “legal” right before God’s eyes to bash a politician, then they’re wrong, they’re in sin, and they need to repent.  And “bashing” includes all manner of demeaning talk, including stupid comments and jokes that do nothing more than assassinate the politician’s character.  God instructed us to pray for all people including our leaders.  (I Tim. 2:1-4)  You can’t pray in an attitude of love for someone you’re constantly ridiculing.  God also told us that if we, as His followers, would humble ourselves and pray, and turn from our wicked ways (He’s talking to His followers when He said “wicked ways”!) He would heal our land.  So if there’s problems in this country, then who’s really to blame?  Stop grumping about the politicians, the liberals, the conservatives, and the lobbyists, and the ones screaming for entitlements, and the ones who evade taxes and the companies that are moving their businesses overseas….. how much are we praying, people?  Are we praying at all?  Ouch, indeed. 

    3.  The poor in this nation, the elderly, the widows, and the orphans, and anyone else who needs help, are the CHURCH’S responsibility.  Not the government’s!  It’s the church’s responsibility to see that their needs are met.  Get them through hard times.  Teach them how to live and walk in their calling and find their purpose.  Do all of that, as well as bring them into a knowledge of the Savior’s Love.  Church!  Wake up!  You are missing your grandest opportunity! 

    • http://www.freeagentacademy.com Kevin Miller

      Amen sister. That last one is a biggie in my heart, but I haven’t done much about it…but want to.

    • Anonymous

      Well said! #2 particularly resonates with me, and I frequently have to advocate just such a position among my friends and family who would rather bash and insult than pray (or in some cases even find out if what they’re saying is true).

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