There’s nothing the Accuser enjoys more than to confuse us with things we believe are particular to us. That the detours on our journey are there because we have done something that no one else has done and are experiencing the consequences of such personal deviance.
There are times when the voice of another resonates in such a way that it must be shared. Shared not because we all go through the same detours in our journey, but shared because we often go through similar detours.
I’m not certain how I received this piece, but when cleaning off my desk, it was there and when I read it again, I felt prompted to share it with you. Perhaps it will speak to you especially during these stressful times we call “The Holidays.”
Sometimes I wonder how I can go from being in such a good place with God…feeling peaceful, loving and patient… then something happens that sends me into an orbit of aggravation!
It happened just the other day. Things were going well. I’d had a lovely afternoon working from home, alone. Life was peachy.
Then school go out and my kids came home. Within 15 minutes, one of my boys did something and said something that was not so peachy. Then he did NOT do something I asked him to do, and let’s just say…I lost my peace and patience right there in the middle of my kitchen.
I was not happy at all. And I told my precious boy in a not-so-nice kind of way. Then, I felt guilty and like the worst mom on the planet!
For a few minutes, I was pretty sure that was exactly how God wanted me to feel. But before I convinced myself I was the worst mom who had no business serving in ministry, I remembered a pastor sharing about the difference between conviction and condemnation.
He explained that condemnation sweeps across our thoughts with generalized statements such as: You’re such a failure. You’re so hypocritical. You can never be counted on. That is the accuser. His tone is condemning, questioning and confusing. His accusations lead to guilt and shame.
In contrast, the Holy Spirit’s conviction will be specific. He will reveal a sinful action or attitude and instruct us with a solution for what we need to do to right the wrong, such as restoring a broken relationship or returning something that isn’t ours. He’ll give steps we need to take to change our behaviors or attitudes.
Instead of the lie: “You’re such a failure as a [wife, mom, husband, dad, daughter, son or friend],” the Holy Spirit might say, “You were really critical the way you talked to so-and-so. You need to say you’re sorry and ask for forgiveness. Then say something to build them up instead of tearing them down.”
Instead of the accusing label: “You’re so hypocritical!” The Holy Spirit might say, “You judge others for gossiping, but you’re doing the same thing when you talk about your neighbor at work. Apologize for what you said today, and share a few things that are positive about her.”
…Satan condemns us accordingly, to make us feel guilty. God convicts us lovingly, to lead your hearts to repentance.
Conviction draws us away from destructive behavior that hinders our relationship with God and others. Jesus’ goal is to ring us out of a condemning place of sin and usher us into the freedom of forgiveness with the assurance of His love.
The next time we blow it, or lose our peace and patience right there in the middle of the kitchen or the office or 5 o’clock traffic, let’s guard our hearts from condemnation and instead, listen only to God’s conviction.
Then let’s follow His lead toward restoration as we live in the security of today’s truth. Jesus didn’t come in to the world—or into our lives—to condemn us, but to rescue us with His redeeming grace. (John 3:17)
(From Proverbs 31 Ministries)
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to You ALL