Conviction Is Not Condemnation

The following is part of some correspondence between me and a good friend.

Dear Roberta,

To me, perfectionism is a monstrous idol that demands more and more sacrifice no matter what I feed it. That was doubly true back in the days that I did mission work.

Conviction is when God points out a specific act or attitude that limits my vitality and joy.

Condemnation is Satan’s attempt to undermine my confidence in the goodness of my created in the image of God nature. God might say, “George you told a lie. Satan says, “You are a rotten liar.” God says, “George, when you told that lie you betrayed the person you are. Satan says, “George, when you told that lie, you were expressing your evil lying nature.”

I am glad that God has helped you see how unnecessary being perfect actually is. Few things have attacked my spirituality as viciously as perfectionism. My humanity is in my contract with my God. [Treasure in earthen vessels, II Cor 4]

I know that you are one of the finest women I have ever met. There is lots of room for both of us to grow of course, and we both will grow all our lives. However, the message of Romans is, receive by faith that you are”Dead to sin and and alive to God”, and your behavior will adjust itself to your faith.

The OT says “If you obey, you will have Peace with God.” The NT says since you already have complete and total peace with God, you will inevitably grow more and more like God. It is our sin that is condemned not us.[Rom 8]

Dear George,
Wow George! This fits so much with what God is continuing to say. I love the definition of conviction and the difference between the way Satan and God talk to us. The Holy Spirit never confuses or discourages me.

I just read Romans 8 this morning. Vs 1 is so freeing and unbelievable. God just wants US! I know if I think more about

relationship with Him the goodness of Him or the joy of the Spirit or the love of Jesus will spill out of me without me having to try so hard or strategize, etc. But even saying that can make it seem like my love for God is so that I can produce good works instead of just because He loves me and I love Him.

How free we would be if we could understand how much God passionately loves us just the way we are.

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