Is Conviction a Feeling?

Several weeks ago we had an in-depth discussion about the “Twilight” series by Stephanie Meyer. Despite a great deal of Biblical evidence that this series should be avoided by Christians, several of you wrote that it couldn’t be harmful because you didn’t feel bad about reading it.

In another post about the power of feelings, some of you admitted that sometimes you don’t have an emotional reaction to your sin. That fact had you wondering if there was something wrong with you, or if you were even a Christian at all.

All of this got me wondering…is conviction a feeling? Should we base our choices and attitudes on whether or not we feel guilty or ashamed?

I’ve spent some time digging into God’s Word for answers to these questions, and I’ll be honest with you, this is a tough code to crack. The Bible tells us clearly that conviction of sin is the job of the Holy Spirit. In fact, Jesus spent time teaching his disciples about this very Truth shortly before his betrayal and crucifixion.

In John 16: 7-8 Jesus said, “ But I tell you the truth: It is good for you that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment.”

The Counselor he mentions here is the Holy Spirit. And he clearly states that the Holy Spirit’s job is to convict us of sin.

Since we can’t talk audibly with the Holy Spirit, this work has to be done on the inside. This is why we talk about feeling convicted. I don’t want to discount this role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It is certainly possible for us to feel convicted about our sin as a result of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives. And we should respond to that prompting.

But, just because we aren’t feeling convicted, does that mean that there isn’t sin in our lives that we should respond to?

Since I think that is a big enough question to chew on for now, we’ll continue this conversation tomorrow. More specifically, we’ll be taking a look at two other ways to identify our sin mentioned in the Bible.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Is emotion an accurate ruler for measuring sin? Are there other ways for you to know if you have unresolved sin in your life?

About Author

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. She is the author of many books and Bible studies including: 7 Feasts, Connected, Beautiful Encounters, and the My Name Is Erin series. She serves on the ministry team of Revive Our Hearts. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

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