Have you ever had a burden on your heart? Has there ever been a time where you felt like you were being weighed down and could not escape this feeling until you did something it? How did it make you feel? Were you at peace with the outcome or did it leave you with regret? The question you need to ask yourself is “Am I feeling convicted or condemned?”
What is the difference between Condemnation and Conviction? – Condemnation comes from Satan. Conviction comes from God.
Condemnation – a statement or expression of very strong and definite criticism or disapproval. Condemnation leads to shame and guilt. It reminds of us our past. Condemnation makes it hard to accept that Christ could love such a sinner. Condemnation isolates. Satan is against us. Satan is constantly telling us how bad we are for screwing up. Satan sometimes disguises Himself as God and twist scripture around. “…For there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:44 NIV) Satan reminds us of negative scriptures of how ugly we are inside and how awful we have sinned. Satan makes us turn against ourselves. Satan’s lies are vague. He speaks in half-truths. Yes, we have fallen short, but Satan stops there. Condemnation causes us to turn away from God in fear. Satan uses condemnation to make accusations. Condemnation creates bondage to our sin and self focuses. Satan uses condemnation to demoralize our spirits. Condemnation sends us into disorder and confusion. Satan uses condemnation to cause pain and grief. It destroys our spirits. Condemnation says, “There is no Hope!”
Conviction – a strong belief or opinion; the feeling of being sure that what you believe or say is true. Conviction is a spiritual burden. It is from the Lord and He is growing in our spirit, prompting us. Conviction opens up room for repentance, receiving correction and redemption. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:17 NIV) “God is for us. God is constantly telling us how much He loves us and forgives us, no matter how bad we have sinned against Him. When we are convicted, we need to act on the Holy conviction. Conviction reminds us that we need Fellowship with the Lord and those around us. God reminds us of positive scriptures of His love. The Holy Spirit is specific. The Lord reminds us that we have fallen short, but He also reminds us of His perfect, unfailing love. Conviction grabs us to face God in Love. God is not forceful. God uses conviction for reassurance. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1 NIV) Conviction creates freedom from sin and focuses on Him. God uses conviction to strengthen our spirits. Conviction turns us to truth and calms us. God uses conviction to release pain and grief and turns and blesses us and causes us to be joyful through Him. It creates our spirits. Conviction says, “There is Hope in Me, the Father!”
So how do you know the difference? Ask yourself, “Where is this voice coming from? What does it sound like? What is it telling me? How does it make me feel? What is it telling me to do?” If you are still struggling to discern the two, always remember that if it discourages you, it is from Satan. If it encourages and uplifts, it is from God.