Conviction Vs. Condemnation: Moving On After Falling Into Sin
Though it might not be easy to admit it certain sins comes in cycles-first comes the fall, then the guilt and shame, then the reconciliation phase of finally being able to forgive yourself and receive God’s forgiveness, and then “BAM!” Right when you think you have gained victory over that sin, before you know it you find yourself falling into it once more. Paul puts it perfectly in the book of Romans when he says,
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 1As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.” -Rom 7:15-17
Sin is always crouching at the door hoping to overtake us (Gen 4:7) and unfortunately sometimes even though we don’t want to give in to it and we promised ourselves that the last time was the last time, we still find ourselves opening the door to have a dance with Sin once more.
It’s a dangerous and tricky cycle because not only does the devil lures us into sin but he also makes us feel horrible about it and then burdens us with shame, guilt, and worst of all, condemnation.
Condemnation is not be confused with conviction. Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit. It is that feeling of regret, disgust, or disappointment that encourages us not to do something again. Conviction is healthy and necessary to our Christian walk because it draws us away from sin and closer to holiness and righteousness.
Condemnation, on the other hand, is from the enemy. While conviction says, “You are forgiven but go and sin no more.” condemnation says, “your sin was too great, you’ll never be forgiven.” Conviction draws you closer to God while condemnation draws you away from Him by making you feel that your sin was too big or you’ve already asked forgiveness too many times so you cannot go to God because he is mad or disappointed in you.
Condemnation is a lie of the devil. There is no sin too great for Jesus Christ to forgive. Sin only has as much power as we give it. In the Old Testament sin would separate humans from God but Jesus, through his crucifixion and resurrection, torn the veil created by sin so now it no longer has the power to separate us from God unless we let it. This means that every time we sin we have the freedom to immediately go to God and be transparent with Him, admit that we’ve fallen and need to be forgiven for the millionth time, and He is faithful and just to forgive us. The Bible says that once we repent He throws our sins into a sea of forgetfulness meaning that He chooses to forget that our sin ever even happened.
Yes, it is that simple! After falling all you have to do is ask for God’s forgiveness, ask Him for the grace to not do it again, and the most important yet hardest part is to receive His forgiveness. No matter how shameful, or unworthy you may feel after falling, you will never be too dirty for your Father’s arms so never be afraid to just run to Him even in your mess and imperfections.
The enemy wants us to do the exact opposite. He wants us to hide from God so we can sever our relationship with Him but on the contrary, when you find yourself constantly falling into sin the best thing to do is run to the presence of God. The presence will change you, your heart, and your desires. It is in the presence that God can release the fire of God which will purify and burn everything ungodly in your mind, soul, and heart. Also, the more time you spend with Him the more you will be empowered to walk like Him.
Finally, remember not be too hard on yourself. None of us will ever be perfect and we will always be found guilty of at least one sin. This reminder shouldn’t serve as an excuse to give up in your pursuit of holiness and righteous but it is important to understand that your sins do not define you. Chances are that so far in your lifetime you have probably already sinned 3,980,280,486 times and will probably sin 3,980,280,486 more times before you die but, Guess what? God has already seen every single one of them. There is no sin you can commit that will shock God, or come as a surprise to him but despite knowing all the ways that you will ever sin or dishonor Him, He still loves you and He still chose you.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,” Romans 8:1