Do you have convictions that match God's moral law or you one of those tired and timid souls that changes your mind with the prevailing winds of time or gravitates to the attitudes of those that surround you for better or for worst?
Conviction is important. If there is no standard that you hold your life to, than to what are you measuring yourself against? Inside of every person is a conscience that will guide you to correct and moral decisions. You can try to circumvent that conscience through ignorance, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, or abuse of all sorts of things but that is a false escape with ill consequences.
You cannot escape yourself. Life is a test, and each of us gets different obstacles, that must be met. Having the right convictions, the right knowledge, and doing the right thing will help to give you the strength and wisdom to face and to ultimately overcome your obstacles and to move forward. In failure, in defeat, in bad decisions, you will regress.
How can you be sure that your conviction is correct, as opposed to a self-righteous intolerance that is sadly mistaken? That question isn't easily answered but we can receive that answer through honest reflection, from the studying and learning of great soul's lives, and implementing or embracing their words, their actions, and the recognition that like creates like. So that, for instance, if in your worldview you believe that only through the sword can the world be purified or corrected, you must also realize that one day that sword will itself be "tolled for you."
Having strong and right convictions will allow you to stand, for instance, before Charles the Fifth, the Holy Roman Emperor, and say, as Martin Luther did " "Unless I am convinced by proofs from Scriptures or by plain and clear reasons and arguments, I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything against conscience. Here I stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen."
These are the type of sentiments, the convictions, that must reside inside each one of us. To know right and to do wrong is itself a great sin. We hear this in James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
Life shouldn't be a popularity contest. To be popular, often consists of pandering to the crowd, mirroring what they want to hear, and what they want to see. But how quickly the crowd can change, how quickly the winds of time can change and that is what makes popularity a chimera, and a false and lesser god.
Have the courage to be of great conviction, have the wisdom to be a true friend. Doing the right thing may not bring you earthly riches and the easy life, but it will bring you the soothing comfort to know that in your conscience, when put to the test, your spine was straight and true.