On his down to earth book about theology, Joshua Harris explains what conviction is:
“When I use the conviction, I’m talking about a heart-level, settled belief before God, that doesn’t change with our environment. Conviction is something we believe, not because someone is making us, not because we have to, but because we are convinced it’s what God would have us believe.
Compliance isn’t conviction. Conformity to other people’s standard isn’t conviction. Adapting to a church culture isn’t conviction. Biblical conviction is the result of the study of Scripture, careful thought, discussion, and the search of wisdom. It requires work. It requires the humility to test the result of our choices and change our actions when necessary. Most important it requires a laser focus on God.”
(Dug Down Deep by Joshua Harris, pg. 170, Published by OMF Literature Inc. 2010)