Guilt Or Conviction
Posted: Thursday, October 1
Verse of the day:
Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind. (Isaiah 64:6)
I had a powerful conversation recently about the difference between feeling guilt and feeling conviction. Some might use the words interchangeably. “I feel guilty.” “I feel convicted.” The distinguishing characteristic, I believe, is the source of each emotion.
Guilt is a human emotion. People talking about battling guilt or carrying guilt from past wrongs. “I can’t let go of my guilt.” “I’ll never forgive myself.” Psalms 103:12 promises us that “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Hebrews 10:17 promises “I will never again remember their sins and lawless deeds.” I firmly believe that when we continually bring up our guilt and the regret of past sins, God curiously responds, “I’m sorry. I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Guilt is a human emotion.
Conviction, however, is something else. We don’t convict ourselves. Conviction has to come from a higher voice—a higher authority. John 16:8 promises us that when the Holy Spirit comes, “he will convict the world of its sin.” Conviction is the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding us and molding us into the image of Christ. We need conviction. Conviction will save our marriages, our jobs, our friendships, and most importantly, our relationship with Christ.