Conviction

Psalm 36:1-4
An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For in his own eyes he flatters himself too much to detect or hate his sin. The words of his mouth are wicked and deceitful; he has ceased to be wise and to do good. Even on his bed he plots evil; he commits himself to a sinful course and does not reject what is wrong.


I asked my kids what they were doing in their Sunday school classroom when I picked them up after church was over. I knew they had been praying because the lights were dimmed when I got to the room. Were they praying for missionaries in other countries? No. Were they praying for orphans and widows? No. Were they praying for God to strengthen His grip on America? No.

They were repenting.

Apparently, it had been discussed that if you’re constantly getting into trouble at home, you can talk to God about it and let Him help you make some good changes.

Now, I don’t know all of the kids in the classroom, but I’m guessing most of them are pretty good kids. Not the wicked people mentioned in the psalm. But if those “good kids” were allowed to continue on in their arrogance, possibly blaming someone else for something they did, those kids would eventually become bolder sinners to the point of losing their fear of God.

I’ve done an eight-part series on the fear of God. (You can read those posts by clicking “fear” in the sidebar labels list.) So if you’ve read that series, you know I’m not saying we should be afraid of God. We should respect God enough to respond to the conviction we feel when we sin.

If we lie to make ourselves feel better, we risk making a habit of ignoring the conviction. When you don’t feel the conviction anymore, you’ve entered the danger zone.

God still forgives and loves every sinner. But that conviction that makes you want to repent is a big neon sign announcing that you’re headed the wrong way. If you close your eyes to the signs, that doesn’t mean your way is suddenly right. You’re still going the wrong way.

So if you feel bad when you do something wrong, that’s good. Respond to that feeling by repenting. A simple prayer will do. That prayer will help you keep your feet headed toward God. It will help you reject what is wrong.

Then you will feel good.

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