It’s a tricky thing.

We desire to follow God but we stumble over our own good works.

It’s a s0litary venture.  Yet, the cry of our hearts is to be understood no only by God but by another skin-faced person.

Too often in my walk with the Lord, I find myself fumbling around to hear the voice of the Savior while echoes of despair and reproof assault my thoughts and emotions with visions of condemnation.  Also, the difference in these concepts may be confusing to people within the mentally challenged community.  It can cause them great difficulty because they are as prone to condemnation as any other Christian; but they may not have as much cognitive abilities to adjust.

Romans clearly states that there is NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  Neverthless, in my search to know the Lord more perfectly, words of condemnation pierce my spirit more often than I like to admit.  Even worse, I listen to them.  I wallow in them, while hating the notion of those hateful thoughts.

What is the difference between conviction and condemnation?  First, conviction is from the Lord.  Condemnation is from the enemy of our souls.  Second, conviction moves us to action and repentance.  Condemnation paralyzes us into rigid, unmovable statues who cannot change.

 When condemnation speaks, it says, “You are a sinner.  No good.  You will never change.  Look what you have done.  You will never be any different.”

Yet, when the Holy Spirit’s conviction speaks, He says, “You are a sinner but God will forgive you.  He will wash you clean and you will be white as snow.  Everything will be forgiven if you repent and turn away from the bad things you have done. Jesus died to forgive you and change your heart and life.  You can’t do it alone but God will help you.”

Learning that I don’t have to live in condemnation changed me as a Christian.  Learning the difference between conviction and condemnation allowed me to better understand and follow the Lord and hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

We serve a great God.  Because of His love we can be assured that our sins cannot and will not keep us from his presence.

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