Guilt vs. Conviction

Conviction vs. Guilt

Conviction vs. Guilt

Dr. Kluane Spake

If you live feeling like you are bad, like you can’t do anything right, like you are always wrong, or someone is judging you … it can cause a severe internal emotional battle.

Too many believers struggle with guilt of having made wrong choices. Guilt vs. Convictio

guilt and conviction

guilt and conviction

It is easy to be confused. We must carefully discern between conviction and guilt. One reason it becomes confusing is that both conviction and guilt begin the same way. They point out a mistake – or sin that needs to be addressed. But soon, each takes a very different path.

It may be that you’ve lived with guilt for soooo long, that you don’t really know that it started from the Lord bringing you into conviction. If you embrace Divine dealings as guilt, you won’t be able to respond properly – and you could stay in bondage to error and a diminished life.

CONVICTION is from the Holy Spirit. It is a revelation of SOMETHING YOU NEED TO FIX. God whispers truth into your being and tries to motivate you to change something, repent, and be free.

GUILT! We are not talking about committing a crime and being guilty or responsible for that crime. Nor are we discussing guilt from being mistreated. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE FEELING OF GUILT and CONDEMNATION THAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DO NOT RESPOND TO CONVICTION.

People tell me they feel bad, they are not smart enough, and feel unworthy. If you have thoughts like, “Other people have hurt me because I don’t measure up” – that’s condemnation. If you think that others control you because you aren’t good enough… that feeling is not from God.

Our world is not perfect. Faith works by memory… remembering what God has truly said is essential. Sometimes, you and I can be consumed with false memories of what people have done and we become forgetful of the promises – and forgetful of our identity of God. That’s when guilt creeps in hard.


When Jesus left the earth, He promised that the Holy Spirit would continue His work. “And He, when He comes, will CONVICT the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment” (John 16:8).

Convict (reprove) in Greek is elegcho.  It means to bring to light, to expose a fault.  It shows the matter for what it really and truthfully is.  Conviction comes to persuade you to change or to do something else.  The Holy Spirit brings to light actions and mindsets that are wrong and He also persuades us of the truth.

Conviction, because it comes from God, is meant for good. It is meant to keep you on track. It is not meant to do you harm, to control you, or to bring shame.

It calls you to persuade you to change for the better.

It can even be called a positive feeling

It can be called confutation.

Conviction leads to repentance. It brings a ray of hope.

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:13)

Conviction offers a way out, forgiveness, redemption, and freedom in the Lord.

Conviction brings repentance and an admission of truth. It reveals errors in thinking and behavior.

Conviction demands an action that will bring you a way out.

Conviction is not meant to last. It is something that you deal with quickly and return to life.

The Holy Spirit will not condemn you (Romans 8:1). There is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.

GUILT, Shame, & Condemnation

guilt conviction

guilt is heavy


If you have dwelt upon offense and let it take root, then that can cause guilt. Guilt is undealt with emotion. Guilt can make you angry, guarded, and full of self-pity.

Whoever (whatever) controls the past controls the future.” George Orwell

Guilt is NOT from the Lord – nor should it come from any Christian leader or friend. Guilt is an emotion that builds up inside and tries to take away your potential and stop you.

Guilt says you are wrong. It stops your growth in that area.

Guilt suppresses your feelings and can cause intensified feelings.

Guilt makes you feel ashamed or stupid. It makes you feel like you cannot be good enough.

Guilt causes depression, condemnation, and feeling under control of someone else.

Guilt cripples your desire to move beyond your comfort zone.

Guilt makes it difficult for you to allow anyone to speak into your life.

Guilt leads to more guilt because you feel you cannot recover without changing your ways.

James 2:10, “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”  Guilt is the Greek word enochos, meaning liable, in danger of, or bound by obligation.  Guilt always brings a negative state of being.  It is never positive.  It chains you to a false memory.

Jesus said to the woman, ‘‘Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more’” (John 8:10-11).

Guilt accuses and causes you to always live in the past, to have regret about your past, or unresolved conflict about your parents, or feelings that you’re not good enough.

Jesus said He came not to condemn the world, but to save it (John 12:47)!

Guilt is a state of being that is due to our own lack of taking responsibility to take care of a situation.

You can condemn yourself by your own words (Matthew 12:37, James 5:12), actions (Matt. 25:31-46, Jude 1:14-15), and failure to believe (John 3:18).

Conviction can set you free.    Guilt can keep you in bondage.

Conviction builds you up.         Guilt brings you down.

Conviction helps you.              Guilt cannot help you.

Conviction leads you.               Guilt pushes you.

Conviction enlightens you.       Guilt confuses you.

Conviction forgives you          Guilt condemns you

Conviction encourages you     Guilt discourages you

Conviction comforts you         Guilt worries you

God speaks in love.                  Guilt speaks in accusation.

Conviction leads to repentance and forgiveness.

Guilt brings dishonor and shame.

Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:26). Guilt is not from God.

No more guilt

Erasing Guilt

The conviction of the Holy Spirit is always unambiguous, specific, and precise – there is something for you to do. Conviction encourages you turn from your mistakes and make restitution if needed. Condemnation is always elusive, vague, un-ending, and never satisfied.

Abundant LIFE is NOT about who hurt you or what they did to you in the past. IT IS ABOUT HOW YOU DEAL WITH YOUR LIFE NOW. YOU need to repent. Don’t wait for anyone else to do one more thing.

Your reactions and feelings should tell you when something needs to be addressed.

Are there any hidden feelings in your life that keep you from experiencing true peace?

Do you have ANY unresolved anger, resentment, or bitterness towards people who have hurt you? Has someone fallen short of your expectations? You need to release them and free your emotions. It is time to forgive and move forward.

  • Have you ever done wrong to someone and not made restitution?
  • Have you been unloving or unforgiving toward your parents? Anybody?

Stop making excuses. Deal with your wrong feelings. Don’t blame someone else. Acknowledge. Apologize. Confess.

>>>Forsake your ungodly belief systems. Don’t become hardened and blame everyone else for your problems the rest of your life.

>>>Your emotions should be your servant and you should be in charge of them. When you continue to blame yourself and others for your feelings, your become ineffective.

If you FEEL that someone is “controlling you” don’t allow that control to take place. You cannot blame another person for feeling guilty. Don’t allow a reaction to a feeling take root. Repent for that feeling and let it go. Don’t give another person the right to stop your wholeness.

If you FEEL that someone is “judging you” don’t allow that condemnation to take root in you. Repent for that sinking feeling and let it go. Don’t give another person the right to stop your healing.

If someone is ACTUALLY mistreating you, then you need to leave that situation.

>>>If you feel the weight of guilt or being controlled by someone, and they don’t even know it — ask if there are areas of your life that you have not fully surrendered to God’s control?

>>>If you are still holding onto past hurts, you are insisting on being “the lord of your own life!” Let accusation go. You will have no true peace until YOU GIVE UP YOUR CONTROL of blaming others for your situations.

Feelings and emotions can lie. You must trust what God says, and not what you feel. “…Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God” (1 John 3:20-21).

Guilt can lead to great unhappiness. Sometimes your emotions can make you sick and feel miserable. UNDEALT WITH FEELINGS CAN BECOME OPPRESSION – OR WORSE, STRONGHOLDS.

As Believers in Christ, we are not guilty. God’s nature is forgiveness. The Holy Spirit convicts us so that we can be free. . Jesus Christ came to take our guilt.

Most of your obstacles would vanish, if instead of enduring them, you would choose to boldly walk through them.” ARISE into the newness of Life in Christ. There is no condemnation!

The catalyst of the Lord calls for forward motion … are empowered to manage yourselves. Your life is what you make it. No matter how you FEEL, you need to KNOW that God does NOT condemn you.




** photos are google images

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