After accepting Christ as your Savior, often times as a teenager there is a myriad of emotions and feelings that intertwine with each other as you grow in the Lord.
For many, the confusion is tied up within the thoughts of conviction and condemnation. For some of you, you cannot tell the difference because they both are linked with doing something wrong. However, there is a huge difference when you break them down and understand where they come from.
The first thing you need to realize is that Conviction comes from Christ. Condemnation comes from satan. But how does that help me understand the meaning you may ask?
Christ is abundant life, eternal life. Despite when we do wrong, he continues to draws us back to Him, who is our living hope and life.
When we think of satan, he represents despair and death. When we do wrong, he reminds us of it and continues to make us feel that there is no hope.
Conviction in Christ always leads back to joy through forgiveness. He makes a way to wipe away the wrongs and restores back to us our first love, our first joy.
Condemnation by satan will keep those wrongs hanging over your head and never giving you a way out of it. He can’t and won’t give you restoration or peace. In the end, it only brings sorrow and oppression.
Conviction in Christ makes us want to change our ways. We know that when we do wrong, it brings a deep sadness within us that wants to try better, to find a way of repentance and a new path of righteousness in Him. That feeling continues in us to encourage us to grow and mature in our walk with Him.
Condemnation by satan makes us think that we could NEVER change or that we are just not worthy enough for God to change us inside. He will try to make you feel that way as long as possible, anything to keep a wall up between you and God. But remember…I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13.
Conviction in Christ says that you are a new creature in Him and have a new identity. You no longer live the old way, the ways of the past, the way of sin. Jesus reminds you that you belong to Him and when He sees you going the wrong way, He lovingly points you back in the right direction.
Condemnation by satan will constantly bring to your mind all the wrongs you have done and will say, “You are the same as you were before, a nothing. You haven’t changed so you might as well give it up.”
Conviction in Christ will pinpoint the areas of wrong, even down to the heart issue in a loving manner that will edify Christ. Then He will turn those areas around for His purposes and for your good.
Condemnation by satan will show how everything about you is wrong and leave you confused or make you feel that you have too many sins for God to handle.
Conviction in Christ will point you back to Him at all times because God is the only one that can reach out to you and help you.
Condemnation by satan will constantly have you looking to yourself for the answers and keep you from finding anything that can free you. Satan will want to keep you there all the time.
Conviction in Christ in actuality is a blessing. God in His loving grace is extending mercy towards the ones He loves, calling you back to Himself so that He can embrace you with forgiveness, shower you in His grace and love. He wants you to remember that you are His child, the one He sent Christ to die for on the cross, the one He wants to spend eternity with.
Condemnation by satan wants you to feel like a burden to God. He wants you to feel that your problems are too big or ugly for God to deal with. He wants you to think that you are filled with unworthiness, too unworthy for God to pay attention to you and help you.
In the end, the most important thing you need to understand is that God if FOR you. Satan is not. God delights in the one He made – You! Satan despises God and he despises you. Why? Because you were made in the image of God and he wants that image destroyed.
So the next time you do something wrong, and yes, you will do wrong again just like everyone else has. Remember that Christ loves you and part of that love is through correction. Absorb it. Take note of it. Learn from it. But most importantly, Come As You Are. Lay down your burdens, your sorrows. Seek forgiveness and be released from your shame and pain. Repent of anything in your life that needs change and ask God to help you.