Conviction vs. Condemnation


Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

-2 Corinthians 7:10

We must learn to recognize the difference between the enemy’s condemnation and the conviction of the Spirit of God. Most of us are very familiar with the voice of condemnation.  You know, those thoughts that mock you, “You aren’t good enough!  You are a mess!  You are a failure!  You are hopeless!  It’s too late for you, you’ll never change!” The enemy loves to heap guilt, shame, and accusation upon us.  He loves to see us wallow in hopelessness, self-pity, or self-defensiveness.  When we become consumed with our own failures and shortcomings we focus on our own inability and unworthiness instead of remembering the Lord’s ability and His worthiness. This can be dangerous to our spiritual lives, because it means we are no longer receptive to the correction of God’s Spirit. While the voice of condemnation whispers despair, the voice of conviction proclaims hope. It’s a positive pain with a positive purpose, it allows us to work through the pain because we know that it will lead to greater growth and courage. We must first understand the gravity of our sin and feel genuine remorse and sorrow over it in order to realize our desperate and utter need for our Savior. Holy conviction can be painful when we realize that we have not been walking uprightly in certain areas of our lives, but when we willingly acknowledge our sin, confess it, and humbly receive God’s correction, it leads to greater joy, power, and change. The amazing thing about God’s conviction is that it actually leads to greater strength. So lets remember, if God is gently correcting us, it is only because He loves us and delights in us!  It is a great privilege to be lovingly refined and shaped by God himself.