Friday, August 10, 2012

Judgment OR Conviction

Webster refers to the term judgment as “forming an opinion based on ideas in your own mind.” In other words judging is when an opinion is formed concerning the rightness of an act or character of a person. I used to be one of those people who believed that every time I felt uneasy, constrained or discomfort from a Christian speaking boldly, that they were fake and judgmental. What I have since learned is that one person’s judgment can truly be God’s conviction.

Unlike judgment, conviction has a much different perspective; conviction is when we are convinced of our own sin or wrong behavior.In other words it is a convinced conscience about something we are doing, not doing or should be doing. There is a big difference between the feeling of being judged and experiencing a true biblical conviction. I have heard Christians in my life talk about things that made me cringe and upset my stomach as I thought to myself “who do they think they are?” or “he/she can’t be talking to me”. I would listen to people quote scriptures, and use tones that I thought were clearly directed from a self-centered tone and used only to judge others.

Recently while listening to a message I could clearly feel the message pointing at me but in my spirit I sat in denial thinking “this can’t be about me.” As I begin to evaluate the meaning in the message,God started revealing areas in my life that needed change. You see that’s the beauty of conviction and the difference between conviction and judgment. When God sends people to teach or speak on His behalf, many times those people have no idea of the background and lives of the people they are speaking and so it’s not that they are judging you but just speaking God’s truths. I had to come to a point in my life where I stopped accusing people of pointing out my faults and recognized God addressing the things that I needed to change.

Face book is a good example of this because it’s a place where everyone thinks/believes that a person’s status is about them and where people get upset and assume things that most often have nothing to do with them. What I’ve found is that God will use whomever He needs in order to get our attention and often times this attention getter will come with reality checks and hard truths. We have to grow to recognize God’s convictions when we’re wrong and not always think someone is “judging or being judgmental” in your life or situation.

Conviction is one of the best gifts we can receive from God. The ability to recognize something isn’t right in our relationship with Him. To know and feel He is speaking or tugging on your hearts through someone else is an awesome and very rewarding blessing; if you’re able to recognize it and are willing to do something about it. Conviction builds character and obedience and this type of character can only be developed when we do what God wants us to whether we want to or not.

Recognizing God’s conviction is a true sign of growth in your life and shouldn’t be viewed as “he/she is judging me”. When God began to tug on uncomfortable issues in my life as hard as they were to address, I recognized them for the convictions they were and allowed myself to become obedient to what I was feeling. When I started doing what God was asking me to do I grew. I stopped being moved by how I was feeling, or by what other people thought and I started moving towards what I knew God was saying in my heart.

Truth is we need convicting messages. Let’s stop wearing our feelings on our sleeves and start responding to what we know God is truly saying to us. When you are a place where you are hearing from God or at least wanting to hear from Him, conviction is good. You look for it, and you accept it; but when you are not there conviction irritates you and makes you believe people are judging you.

Thank God for putting a spirit of conviction in you. I am so thankful I can recognize when I am doing something wrong and immediately respond to God’s correction. #Get Convicted#

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