The Important Difference Between Guilt And Conviction

This world sometimes feels dark, and it’s easy to get lost in the fog of shame and guilt. We want to do good, but we are sinful by nature. This idea puts a wedge between us and our creator.

Why try if we will just fail and disappoint? How can God love us despite the fact we constantly fall short?


I didn’t truly understand God’s unconditional love until I became a mother. Now, I’m not saying you have to be a parent to understand love, but that’s just when it clicked for me. My children disappoint. They are broken human beings that sometimes intentionally but often unintentionally hurt me. Yet, I still love them with my whole heart. Nothing they do or say can keep me from loving them.

That’s how God works. Except His love and grace is infinite.

We think that because God calls out sin in the Bible, He isn’t reachable until we are made clean. But that’s not true. God doesn’t want sin to separate us — not because He wishes us to feel shame, but because He wants better for us! Similar to how I discipline my children because I want them to grow and develop in positive ways, not because I enjoy seeing them suffer.

“God exposes sin not to shame us but to change us.”

Conviction over condemnation is what God desires for our lives.

“Condemnation brings guilt and shame. Conviction brings hope and restoration.”

There is nothing that can separate us from God’s love. Our shame tells us otherwise, but it’s not true. Does this mean we should go on sinning? No. Will we? Yes. But should we be striving toward a better, more righteous life? Absolutely. That’s what you do for those you love. I watch my kids light up when I tell them I’m proud of them and that’s the same way God feels when we move towards a life of holiness.

“Shame says that because I am flawed, I am unacceptable. Grace says that though I am flawed, I am cherished.”

God wants us to feel convicted so that we can live the best life possible. He wants us to grow in wisdom and discernment and put aside the darkness of our sinful desires. His forgiveness replaces our debt with abundant life. Like an ocean current, sin pulls us away from the safety of shore.

“I have come that you might have life and have it to the full.” –John 10:10

What are some ways you can remind yourself of God’s love in a way that convicts rather than condemns? Tell us in the comments. 

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Article Author

Amanda Foust

Amanda Foust

Amanda is a wife, mother, writer, and certified life coach. Pen and paper make her spirit come alive. She spends her creative time reading, decorating, and handwriting fonts. Her world is better with an assortment of chocolate and a stack of books packed and ready for travel. She is a writer for Downs Ups & Teacups. When she's not writing, she's planning outdoor adventures with her husband and two children. She believes life feels best when it's truly lived!

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