There are those of us Christians who feel the need for supposed "externals" in our daily lives. By this, I mean standards or convictions. These occasionally make people either nervous or annoyed. The worst part is that often people have these convictions for the wrong reason or use them in the wrong way.
Group number one: These are people who do certain things in order to achieve salvation. The most notable group being the Amish.
Group number two: These are saved by grace people who feel like they must do things in order to please God. So they find all they can in the Bible to do. Often this leads to feeling of superiority over those who don't do the same things.
Group number three: (the group I feel the need to belong to) These are people who recognize "externals" as safeguards. For example, God hates adultery, right? Dressing modestly does not guarantee that you will never commit adultery, but it makes it easier not to. My friend Sandra who is a nice looking, 22 year old, did a week of student teaching for a man teacher. She said he was a perfect gentleman and never insinuated anything. That is not common here. You see, I think that Sandra's dress and demeanor send a "don't bother trying" message.
The "externals" do not mean that you are more holy, they just make good behaviour easier. Another example: If I do not watch tv or movies that have profanity, I am more likely not to ever use profanity. If I am constantly hearing profanity, it is more likely that some will eventually come out of my mouth, pr my kids mouths. Having a disciplined Bible reading schedule does not mean that you will automatically become a good Christian. But it does mean that you're more likely to get more from the Bible if you read it every day.
Is this making any sense?
There are those that say that convictions are for weak Christians. If that is the case, well fine. I am weak, I need all the help I can. We are surrounded by ungodliness. Our heroes fall all around us. I have convictions about my behaviour because I need them. God gave them to me to keep my happily on the Straight and Narrow.
And I am grateful.