Thank you once again Jenny for being my muse for this post. :)
My friend Jenny posted this yesterday on Facebook:
Stop trying to take God out of everything. I know it's uncomfortable and maybe hurts a little, but that pain you feel is called conviction. It only lasts a little while and turns into peace, which blossoms into love and compassion. That is a good thing. The hurt leads to healing.
You don't hear people talk about conviction often. I took the liberty of looking up a definition of conviction as it relates to Christianity and this is some good stuff:
Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit where a person is able to see himself as God sees him: guilty, defiled and totally unable to save himself. Conviction functions differently for the Christian and non-Christian. For the non-Christian, conviction reveals sinfulness, guilt and brings fear of God's righteous judgement. Whereas, conviction in the believer brings an awareness of sin and results in repentance, confession and cleansing.
I remember being confused growing up why Christians always called themselves sinners and said they were unworthy. That seemed like they were just downing themselves to me. But I totally get it now. We ARE sinners. God does not expect us to be perfect but He does expect us to ask forgiveness and He uses the Holy Spirit to convict us.
I have spoken before about how I gave myself away before getting married. I can sit here and justify it all day long by saying I have only been with one person and that we are married now so it doesn't really matter... but it does matter. And that is why literally every single time I gave myself away before marriage I had this overwhelming sense of guilt that followed. I felt this stab of pain deep in my soul and I just knew it was wrong. The most severe punishment to me as a teenager (and even as an adult) is to know that I have disappointed someone. Not only did I disappoint my earthly father (and mom) by giving away my innocence but I dissapointed my heavenly Father. That was hard to get past. The funny thing is I would ask for forgiveness on and off throughout my dating years but it felt insincere because I knew I would do it again. Does that mean God didn't forgive me? No. But it means I wasn't coming to Him with a truly repentant heart. Although we had been intimate for several years before we got married our wedding night was the first time that it truly felt right. I no longer have feelings of guilt because I have since truly repented and God has washed away that guilt from my heart.
Our modern society tries to convince us that we should do whatever feels good. They teach us to dismiss any feelings of guilt or accountability. They say our world is changing so we should change with it. The power of the Holy Spirit is so much stronger than that. Man did not give us what we refer to as intuition, instinct or a sixth sense... God did. And I would rather trust what is deep within my soul than anything or anyone in this broken world.
God doesn't want us to feel guilty. He wants us to feel free and be clean. When we are weighed down with guilt it hinders us from growing closer to Him. When we let all of that go there are no barriers, no lies and no pain. Just forgiveness and freedom. How great is our God? He is great enough that He not only forgives us, but gives us a push in that direction with that little word - conviction. Don't ignore it. Use it to heal and grow closer to Him.
"In that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them." ~Romans 2:15
"And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment." ~John 16:18