Guilt, shame, condemnation or conviction?

So what exactly does my guilt mean?

There is a difference between the guilt from CONDEMNATION and the guilt from CONVICTION.

God wants change to happen in your heart, that’s why after you are saved you begin a process called SANCTIFICATION.

You are being sanctified…you are changing, conforming over time to look more like Christ. Your attitude, actions should be changing. It doesn’t happen overnight. We are all a work in progress. We don’t magically arrive the day we ask Jesus into our hearts.

During this process, because God loves you too much for you to stay the way you are, God allows the Holy Spirit to CONVICT you…you know that still small, gut-feeling-voice that whispers to your heart that you are in waters you should not be. Like when you snap at your kids because something pressing is on your mind…then you feel really bad about it. Maybe its necessary to apologize to your kids. Or, when you want to say something about someone (gossip), but you know it would be damaging, it serves no purpose…that’s the Holy Spirit convicting…prompting you to do the right thing, or to reveal to you something you’ve done (sin) that you need to apologize to someone for and more importantly, ask for God’s forgiveness. In other words, CONVICTION = RECOGNIZING YOUR SIN.

CONDEMNATION on the other hand is actually from the OTHER realm…totally…its from the enemy of God. With condemnation comes the feelings of shame, self-loathing…a self-hate that make you want to run and hide. Condemnation leads to walls around the heart and isolation because of the shame. Its the enemy’s way to keep you from fellowship, from being set free from sin and bondage, keep you away from intimacy with God.

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There’s a big difference.

God doesn’t condemn you – you stand in the waterfall of His grace. To condemn you would mean that the cross meant nothing, the sacrifice of His Son meant nothing.

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

If you know Christ as your Savior then you are free from the law of legalism. You are set free from the have-to’s, should-have’s, would’-have’s.

This means that you can stop feeling guilty.

It doesn’t mean you continue in the sin …you know when you are convicted…you feel it, you think it, you can almost taste how wrong and yucky it is.

If you confess with your mouth, your sins, you desire to change, then you can trust God with your continued sanctification and finally be…

free of the guilt.

Guilt keeps you covered – preoccupied – ineffective – hidden – fearful.

Because the price was paid. You are redeemed.

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CONVICTION is actually a beautiful gift because God wants to keep the space between you and Him clear and free from those things that hinder intimacy with Him. To be convicted means that God is working in your life. To be convicted means that God is working to sanctify you…causing you to reflect a more clear image of His Son.

To simplify:

CONDEMNATION: from the enemy of God

CONVICTION: a gift from God

A good question to ask if you aren’t sure if you are being convicted or condemned:

“What’s the fruit of my guilt?”

Does it bring about a sorrow that you’ve sinned against God and lead to change, or does it bring about only shame?

If you have a desire to please God, turn away from your sin – conviction.

If you only feel rejected from God, want to run and hide and feel the weight of shame – condemnation.

God’s love and extended grace is meant to set your free not hold you in the bondage of guilt.

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Photos by Master and Kongsky

 

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May friendship, encouragement and grace abound!