Learning to discern the difference between personal preference and conviction is an important distinction to make. Personal preference is something we all have because we have been uniquely created and live within different lifestyles and social environments. We can yield the ground of our personal preference when we encounter a divergent opinion and not be compromised morally. Conviction is different. It holds fast to our understanding of truth and does not waver. Both preference and conviction must be handled with grace and wisdom, or relationships can be destroyed, and a mission can be aborted prematurely.
It is too easy to mistake a preference for a conviction and draw an emotional line in the sand and miss the fact that different preferences and viewpoints are actually an invitation for dialogue, not distance. Truth is what should empower all we do, not our emotions, no matter how passionate those emotions might be convincing us of the rightness of our position or worldview. Our undisciplined emotions can redefine a preference and turn it into a conviction, and that is where a lot of our problems find their origin.
Lord, help us know the difference.