Condemnation versus Conviction

Over the past few weeks, Jeff has been doing a sermon series called “It Came from Within” based on the book by Andy Stanley. We’ve been talking quite a bit about guarding our hearts above all else. Here’s a brief intro to one of Jeff’s sermons:

We learn there are things to do or not do, to say or not say in order to keep the wheels of life greased. At home, at work, in school, in dating relationships, with friends, with family and even with complete strangers, we develop a filter, and everything that comes out passes through that filter. It’s not that a filter is bad; it’s just that a filter is only meant to deal with what flows through it, not what flows to it. Even the most carefully monitored filter can fail, and when it does, something pops out that makes us say, “Whoa, I don’t know where that came from!”

But Jesus says, “I do. I know where it came from. It came from your heart.” He talks about it in Matthew 12:34b when he says, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.”

Which got me thinking about this week’s blog carnival topic: Condemnation. It seems our internal filters shift into overdrive when we come from the position of feeling condemnation about sin rather than conviction. Condemnation tells us to hide our sin. Conviction tells us to confess and sin no more. It’s a struggle. Especially when we are trying to convince everyone that we have it all together. And let’s just be honest. Does anyone really have it all together? I know I certainly don’t.

At the end of each sermon, Jeff¬†poses a few questions. (A few of the questions change a bit from week to week. This particular one is about anger.) I’d like to share them with you with the hope that they will lead you from a place of condemnation towards conviction, and ultimately to¬†restoration.

  • Is everything okay in your heart?
  • Are you mad at anybody?
  • Are you waiting around for somebody to come to you and make things right?
  • Have you had any extended, imaginary conversations with anybody lately?
  • Have people asked you, “What are you so angry about?”
  • Have you secretly celebrated someone’s failure recently?
  • Do you have any secrets that are eating at you?
  • Anything going on that you hope no one discovers?
  • Is there a question you hope no one ever asks you?
  • Have you lied recently to somebody you love?

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” ~ Proverbs 4:23

This post is part of the blog carnival on Condemnation, hosted by Bridget Chumbley. To read more, please visit her site.

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