Which is better? To be driven by guilt or to be driven by conviction?

Which is better? To be driven by guilt or to be driven by conviction?

Recently, a very good friend of mine exclaimed to me, “I was doing so good on my bible study, but then I just quit. I feel so guilty.”  I challenged her to channel her “guilt” in a different direction. Perhaps as believers, we should acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s nudging in our lives: His counsel John 14:26; His conviction John 16:8; His discernment John 15:26; and His teaching John 14:26. Just as I suggested to my friend, I would humbly submit to you that guilt paralyzes us while conviction compels us.  Guilt all too often renders self-deprecation, apathy, and passiveness; a “no can do” spirit.  On the other hand, spiritual conviction renders repentance, a love for Christ, and in essence, spiritual conviction renders purpose and meaning.  Paul said in 1 Timothy 1 “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst…”  But he did not leave it there. He did not wallow in the very guilt from which he had been saved.  No indeed, in verse 16 he says “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.”  In fact in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul wrote “And Christ’s love compels us…..”  Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44) He loves to get a stronghold in our lives and render us ineffective for Christ. And what better way to do this than by guilt?  But wait, what is the good news anyway?  The Good News is that we were found guilty, but Jesus rendered that verdict innocent by His death on the cross.  So the next time you feel guilty, read this scripture that you have posted on your bathroom mirror (Colossians 2:13-15) and understand that as believers, we have this confidence that God has taken away our guilt “once for all.” Therefore, if we allow guilt to be our guide, then we are abdicating the gift that God gave us through the sacrifice of His son. Moreover, it is the love of Christ that should “compel” us, not guilt.  If we falter or sin or fall short on some of our responsibilities as Christians, than let’s acknowledge the conviction and counsel of the Holy Spirit in our life when we feel sorrowful for that and so repent, and so be renewed with passion and purpose.  In other words, move on and do the “next right thing.”  But don’t allow guilt to be the one that prevails.  Don’t give Satan such a stronghold. Colossians 2:13-15 “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”
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