Welcome back. I hope you are following along in my short series on the reasons I believe more Christians do not read the bible every day. Yesterday we discussed that the number one reason usually given is “time”. However, it is my belief that while time may be an issue, the real reason lies with their priorities. Today, I would like to look at reason number two.
Reason #2: The Bible Convicts!
I don’t know about you, but when I read the Bible, I’m convicted. There is usually something God wants me to change or an area I’m called to grow. I want to be convicted because I want to grow; I want to be more Christ-like. However, there are some people who simply do not want to change. If I am being honest, I was one of “those people” not long ago. These people I am referring to have carved out a piece of themselves for God and do not feel the need to give him any more. They go to church, I mean isn’t that enough? There are also those people who confuse conviction with condemnation and run from it; thereby, run from God. Let’s take a closer look at conviction and condemnation:
Conviction: I see conviction as redirection from God (Holy Spirit). It is like God’s hand on us guiding us to a better life, much like that of a parent. Conviction comes from God’s love for his children and points out our sin, leads to contrition (sorry for our sins) and true repentance all the while still offering love and acceptance.
2 Corinthians 7:9-11 (NLT) states, “Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways. It was the kind of sorrow God wants his people to have, so you were not harmed by us in any way. For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.”
Let me be clear, conviction is not Judgment.
John 12:47 (NLT) states, “ I will not judge those who hear me but don’t obey me, for I have come to save the world and not to judge it.
John 3:17 states, “God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
Condemnation: I see condemnation as an attack of our persons by Satan and a means to tear us down and keep us from fulfilling our calling. It focuses strictly on the problem and offers no solutions. It comes from a place of judgment and darkness. Condemnation comes from Satan, but can be in many forms, such as loved ones, other Christians, perceptions of failure, etc.
SIDE NOTE: I would also like to caution us on trying to convict our fellow believers or the unsaved. Conviction is clearly the job of the Holy Spirit, and often times what we believe we are offering is conviction when it is actually condemnation and hurts rather than helps. We can speak truth but we must do so out of love and then allow the Holy Spirit to work on the individual.
We must train ourselves to be able to distinguish between conviction and condemnation. If God is convicting you of something, he will give you the strength and resources to carry it out. I think the saying goes, “if God is bringing you to it, then He will bring you through it” We touched base on this a little yesterday, I know, but remember that in order to resist the devil and his condemnation, we must know the word of God and we will only know the word of God if we read it.
I pray that you will continue on with me in this journey as tomorrow I will be discussing reason #3: Lack of Knowledge and Understanding.
Until next time, stay safe and God bless,