SOME OF THE QUESTIONS Jesus asks cut right to the heart of difficulties in our lives. If we decide to let Jesus ask his questions and we resolve to answer them honestly, we’ll be confronted with some ugly truths in our hearts and lives we’d rather not deal with. This is to be expected; any good relationship helps us know ourselves better—including seeing our faults more clearly. When this happens, we must remember to distinguish between the experiences of conviction and condemnation. Though both come from encountering ugly truths about ourselves, conviction often comes from God, but condemnation never comes from God. Condemnation is conviction robbed of hope. Condemnation says, “You’re ugly, you’re broken, and you’re never going to change.” Conviction says, “There may be ugliness, there may be brokenness, but that’s not who you are. Who you are—God’s beloved creation—is beautiful and whole. By God’s grace, you can be—and indeed you are becoming—this truest self.”
Let Me Ask You a Question: Conversations with Jesus (Upper Room Books, 2018)
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How might hearing the difference between condemnation and conviction help you face and address your faults? Share your thoughts.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
—Matthew 11:28 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
As Christians, we hunger to know and live out God’s purposes for our lives. But how do we know for certain that our choices are moving us in the right direction. Learn more about Which Way, Lord? – a 6-session churchwide or small-group study that will help you understand God’s desire for your life.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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