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The Cost Of Conviction

By Don Loftis | 02.23.11

It does not take but two chapters after Pentecost for the biblical record to identify persecution. The apostles were confronted by the Jewish authorities and forbidden to speak about Jesus. In Acts 4, Peter and John responded, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” In the next chapter, Peter would add, “We must obey God rather than men.” That bold faith would cost men like James, Stephen, and Paul their lives.

It was certainly a different context, but recently Joel Northrup again demonstrated the cost of conviction. Joel was seeking the Iowa high school wrestling championship in the 112 pound division. His 35-4 record during the season marked him as one of the favorites. However, in the first round, he was paired against a girl. Joel felt that the “hands on” contact required in wrestling was inappropriate for a boy to have with a girl. He chose to default rather than compete. His moral position had a pricetag.

I wonder what we are willing to give up in order to put Jesus first in our lives? Telling the truth can be costly. Refusing sexual favors may not make you popular. Attending Bible class may cost a few hours of sleep as you work or study later. Conviction may cost us a job, a friendship, a perk, or even a state championship.

Steve Higgenbotham, commenting on Joel Northrup’s decision, summed it up well for us all. “The cost of conviction can sometimes be great, but the rewards of integrity are always substantially greater.”


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