I am an observer of people. Part of that is my job…I DIDN’T say judge.
I observe people who live every day under the conviction of their sins. Many use unsuccessful means to bring relief to this self-inflicted pain. Some run it, some use drugs and other addictions to cover it, some gossip about others to avert the attention, some attempt suicide to relieve the pain (unfortunately some do so successfully), some mask it with presenting a false picture of themselves to others, etc.
The issue is – what to do with conviction. The Church has failed in some ways of showing people how to handle conviction. How has the Church failed? For starters, has the Church been truly honest and open and dealt correctly with conviction of their personal issues and sin?
George Barna and other groups have done surveys and studies on how people handle issues. It is astounding and appauling to see that the Church is as guilty as the World by using the same means to escape this reality of conviction – divorce, murder, theft, drug and alcohol abuse, etc.
We are all convicts! We are all guilty of missing the mark. God’s ultimate act of love proved the status of our guilt because He paid the penalty for our sins with His life. I just thank God for His unmerited grace and unending mercy. This is what has set me free from prison.
The purpose of conviction is to DRAW us closer to God. The closer we get to Him, the more we must strip away fleshly mentality and carnal ways. I am NOT an advocate of doing away with conviction. I crave conviction. Conviction is the internal driving force of the spirit man within me to push me closer to the Lord. We cannot allow our flesh to “read” our uneasiness as something that is bad for us. Conviction of sin is the ONLY thing that will keep us from migrating toward “everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles…” (Hebrews 12:1 – NIV)
“Lord, let conviction be heavy in our lives. But let it be a conviction that will draw us closer to You, not drive us away.”
…What is your response to conviction?