“Guilty until proven innocent.”
A saying I’m sure we’ve all heard at some stage in our lives (even if only on tv). I think it’s safe to say that no matter who you are, we’ve all felt guilty at some stage in our lives.
What is conviction?
For a Christian, conviction is to feel the full ugliness of our sin. So much so that it causes us to see how it dishonours God, pushing you to change, no longer desiring to go against God. Often times conviction is that ever persistent prodding of The Holy Spirit. Usually experienced in moments that seem incredibly inconvenient, in hindsight we see just why we felt convicted. If you have chapters of your life that you’d rather forget because you chose to do things your way, then you know what I’m talking about! You can have full confidence that we are in good hands!
Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…”
Conviction in the life of a believer compels us to toward Godly behaviours (even when everything in us may want what the world has to offer). Being convicted is a crucial part of becoming more like Christ, and a key part in growing Christian maturity. If you feel conviction, be encouraged to evaluate where you are placing your faith. It might not be in Jesus.
To feel convicted goes beyond thinking ‘this isn’t right’, or to have a guilty conscience. Conviction goes much deeper than that. Conviction and condemnation are not the same thing. Conviction pushes us towards freedom in Jesus. Condemnation aims to keep us feeling guilty, unforgivable and unloveable. Condemnation is not how God wants us to live or operate.
I firmly believe that we can grow and are greatly refined in times of discomfort and hardship. In those moments where God is convicting us and requires us to turn around and go the other way, is because of His incredible and deep love for us. We may not ever see the reason for it in the moment, and often only see Gods hand in things after we have allowed conviction to change us from the inside out. Our hearts need to be soft and responsive in order for this to be acheived.
If we truly do have Jesus in our lives and heart, reflected in how we live, you will be able to welcome conviction with open arms. It will be seen as way to remove the dishonoring things in our lives and have them be replaced with the things that uphold and pursue Gods standards and righteousness.
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness.”
This is what we should be pursuing in our lives, while knowing that if we mess up we will be gently but kindly convicted.
If you havent ever experienced this thing called conviction it may be time to really dig deep and truly look at who you are putting your faith in. Who is leading your life, actions, motives and heart? Is it all Jesus, or is it all you with a side of Jesus when you feel like it.
Its up to you.