Have you ever wished you could know the difference between conviction and condemnation? Are you tired of feeling weighed down with guilt and shame?
If so, you’re not alone! I believe condemnation is one of our most common and crippling heart-struggles. And I’m determined to kick them to the curb! I hope you’ll join me.
In my Proverbs 31 Ministries devotion today, I share the major difference between condemnation and conviction.
Condemnation is usually a broad stroke of shame that sweeps across our thoughts with generalized statements about who we are in an insulting and accusing way. The tone of condemnation is always accusing, questioning, confusing and will leads to feelings of guilt and self-hatred.
Conviction is specific and won’t condemn us for who we are, but will be more focused on something we’ve done. The Holy Spirit’s conviction always includes wisdom and instruction to lead us towards resolution, not shame.
Condemnation focuses on the problem. Conviction offers a solution.
- Take a minute to write down the most frequent shaming, blaming or accusing thoughts you have that make you feel condemned.
- Using the contrasting examples between conviction and condemnation below, re-write the statement and replace your words of condemnation with convicting yet loving truths the Holy Spirit might say.
- Be sure to offer yourself forgiveness plus a solution that reflects God’s goal of restoration and His tone of grace.
Instead of the lie: “You’re such a failure as a [wife, mom, daughter, friend],” the Holy Spirit might say, “You were really critical the way you talked to _________. You need to say you’re sorry and ask forgiveness. Then say something to build them up instead of tearing them down.”
Instead of the accusing label: “You’re so hypocritical!” The Holy Spirit might say, “You judge others for gossiping, but you’re doing the same thing when you talk about your neighbor at work. Apologize for what you said today and share a few things that are positive about her.”
These are two steps to help us kick condemnation to the curb, and there’s more but….
** Due to technical roadblocks and major scheduling challenges, my “3 Ways to Kick Condemnation to the Curb” is not quite finalized. But no worries!! I’d LOVE to SEND it to YOU via EMAIL today this week. Just ENTER your EMAIL below!
Also, BE sure to ENTER my GIVEAWAY and SIGN UP for the FREE download of God’s Promises too!
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Thank you so much for sharing the difference between condemnation and conviction. I actually had an experience yesterday, that kind of relates. I am currently looking for a job, and I quit my last job, because my boss lied to me on several occasions. I had one potential employer tell me that he had said some not nice things, even though this particular person didn’t believe him. I was worried some might….so I called my friend and asked her to call this old boss, and pretend she was going to be interviewing me, to see what he was saying…..I know AWFUL IDEA…..Not only was I trying to deceive my old boss, but I had asked a friend to lie. I knew Jesus was telling me it was wrong, but I rationalized the situation….However, when I read your devotional today, the Holy Spirit lovingly convicted me, again. It wasn’t a condemning accusation, it was a “this is not how you should act, please apologize and don’t go through with this”. So I sent her a text and apologized for asking her to do such a thing. Again, thank you for always being so open and honest about your feelings/issues, it helps the rest of us do the same.
Im so proud of you Chasidy!! It’s easy to justify things like that when we’ve been hurt but you chose God’s ways that are higher by listening to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. What a courageous and honest decision you made! God will honor you for honoring Him in that way. Again, so proud of you girl!!
This devotional will greatly assist me in goal to draw closer to God. I daily feel unworthy of not only his love and care but that of my family and husband. I really feel in a pit, and logically know how I got there yet I struggle with pulling myself out. I recently had a baby and I find myself comparing my body image to my husbands ex-wife who has lost lots of weight while I have been gaining. I feel fat and ugly and very unattractive. I believe it has a lot to do with my luke warm relationship with my creator. While I was pregnant I felt confident and sure of myself…….I ask for your prayers, thank you
Praying for you Lidia. Praying you will draw so close to Jesus right now and let Him pull you out of that pit with His cords of lovingkindness and His ties of unconditional love. Here’s a link to a page where you can SIGN UP for my free 5-day EMAIL devotional. http://reneeswope.com/aconfidentheart/7-day-doubt-diet/
I pray it would really encourage you!!
I’ve never heard it put this way and it really opened my eyes. This will really help me to stop condemning myself for mistakes of 10+ years that I have already repented of. THANK YOU.
Thank you so much for this. God’s timing is perfect. Our Sunday School Group had this exact discussion on Sunday morning. I shared with them!
So thankful for the Lord to inspire you to write this blog. I truly needed this after a non Christian friend posted on facebook about how hypocritical Christians are and that they are brainwashed and have no ideas. I’m so glad to read the truth about this very situation!
Wow this sounds like my life story. I constantly find myself in the jaws of shame. My sister when I was younger made a poster of truths vs. lies and Bible verses to memorize. I could definitely use a reminder myself these days. Also, leading mentoring at my church most women deal with this in some form or another so this would be a great resource for them. Thx for the book giveaway and may you be blessed for your gracious generous heart!
Every day I fall into some sort of trap of self-condemnation and would love to know how to avoid this.
Tammy Trietch says
Renee, I love your insights – they relate great, basic Christian principles! This is exactly what I need to share with a young mother who was recently incarcerated due to bad decisions she made (specifically drugs). THANK YOU for this timely blog.
Amber Chapais says
I think you can help me with all your great wisdom and your great devotions. I would love to join you on this journey. I know I would surely benefit from God and you together. I need more self-esteem, God bless you.
Like so many others on here, I let Satan run my life, and adding to that a lack of faith, or even knowledge of God, ruined my life and almost caused me to want to end mine last year. Believe me I tried and had it planned but a few attempts later, God apparently wasn’t ready to see me yet and had other plans for me. Thank you Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior – He saved me from the depths of despair and complete darkness. I know He has forgiven me and loves me, although I too doubt how could someone so perfect and beautiful love someone like me but I have to, and we all have to, trust our Lord and Savior that he died for us and our sins, no matter how terrible. I have to believe that or I discount him. Seeing these posts from Renee and the Proverbs31 team honestly helps me, they truly do, to focus on that love and to keep going. My life is far from perfect, but I know I won’t let myself go back down there again… Keep hoping and praying! Blessings to all.
Jessica Lee says
I am struggling so much right now. When I read this post, I recognized that voice of condemnation so readily. It tells me constantly,
“You’re so lazy.”
“You do not contribute ANYTHING to your family.”
“You hurt people constantly because you are selfish.”
And on, & on, & on. I was struggling with my faith, & doubting what I knew of God & my relationship with Him. I joined a friend at her church which was a different faith than my own. The Holy Spirit would not quit pricking at my heart. Even as I tried my hardest to completely immerse myself in the things I was hearing at this church, my heart was crying out, “NO! That is NOT what God’s Word says!!!” Eventually, I got into my Bible and I stayed there until God’s truth were plain & evident to me. I had to tell my husband that I was wrong, I had to explain to my children why we were going back to our old church, and most difficult of all, I had to try to explain to my friend (who had become more of a sister by this point) why I could no longer attend church and worship with her. There were a lot of hurt feelings, disappointment, tears, and even accusations of cowardice … and in the end, our friendship has been severely (if not irreparably) damaged.
I find myself floundering now … I am not listening to untruths, but my joy is gone. I feel as though I am a hypocrite, & a liar. I need your prayers so desperately, Renee. I have wasted too long not being the woman God created me to be. I just don’t know what the next step is from here.
Praying for you right now!! Please remember God’s mercy is new every day! Satan will stop at nothing to keep us discouraged, and distracted. There is a couple verses that I wanted to share with you that may help you….2 Corinthians 10:5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
When Satan tries to get me to believe his lies, by attacking my mind. I have to use this verse to fight him. Also, Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…..Satan is lying to you, by trying to make you believe you have lost your joy….as a child of God, you have access to JOY at all times, through the fruit of His Spirit.
And the last one is Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Please don’t allow Satan to distract you or discourage you. I pray that God will mold you into the woman he created you to be, most of the times, he uses the trials of life to do that : )
P.S. If you can, google the lyrics to Matthew West Song / Hello My Name Is….it’s truly awesome and so fitting for your situation!
Lots of Love,
I just got done reading “A Confident Heart”! I need to reread some ~ how it touched my heart! I really needed this! My self-confidence stinks!! 🙁 I would love to read the devotional! Thank you!
I have had asked for forgiveness for past sins. I know I have been forgiven, but I still struggle with it at times when things come up that remind me of what I had done. I think Satan still triggers that to make me think I am not worthy of God’s forgiveness for what I had done in the past.
I also struggle at work (daily!) with co-workers and the conversations that are spoken all around me. They are very negative and gossipy (if that’s a word??). I ask God everyday to help me only say things to lift others up, but there are many days that I fail Him with that. It is so easy to get caught up in these conversations and go along with what is being said by others and putting my 2cents in! So any help I can get with condemnation and conviction, bring it on!
It’s crazy all the things the devil can try to convince me of… I recently quit my career working for a great company to be at home with our four children. I try daily to rid my thoughts of “horrible mom” and “wrong decisions”. Deep in my heart I know this is where God wants me but some days it’s hard to listen to that small voice calling from somewhere among the shouts of negativity! Thanks for this post, I’m excited to read the email. I know we all need this at some point and for some reason or other.
I was so touched by your devotional today. I would love a chance to read your book. I am so bad about this. I heard a talk by Joyce Meyer last week talking about how some people see “correction” as “rejection”; that is SO me!
Your comments about conviction reminded me of the chorus “It’s your kindness O Lord that leads us to repentance….” I lost my job recently, and it has been difficult to get out of bed some days because of the condemnation and anger with myself and others. I want to trust and #kc2tc.
Cari Stuckart says
I first want to thank you for your ministries, they have gotten me through many situations. I am on an journey to become the best I can in Christ, and have many steps to go. I am in a marriage that I am not sure will last, I want so much to be the wife that God meant me to be but it seems Satan has other plans at times. I have been fighting Satan for 28 years in this marriage, of course only about 10 of those have I really had Christ as the center. Satan however speaks through my husband to me, to knock me down and make me feel like a terrible wife, person, friend and woman. I didn’t realize this until today reading Convicted but not Condemned. I suddenly realized that all of those hurtful terrible things that were spat at me last night in yet another terrible argument that might possibly lead to divorce, was Satan. I immediately got in the Word last night and realized that what my husband wants is respect and what I need is love. I apologized for what I said and for not respecting him. I went to bed in a different room than my husband last night and for now this is how it will be. I need to be in the Word each and every day morning and night to get through this season.
I am asking for prayers for my marriage, I love this man with my very soul but we both deserve to have happiness, please pray that we can give each other what God wants us to. Thank you again for the encouragement and strength your ministries give me.
PS. My baby boy is going to be a husband in less than 20 days, please pray for them as they start this journey together.
fola f says
Thanks for such a timely intervention and for opening my heart to this message and understanding the
Difference between condemnation and conviction
Knowing that God/Holy spirit will give us the solution is so true and real in my experiences.
God bless you richly
Andrea Tillotson says
I suffer from depression like so many women have shared. In 2008, I discovered that my husband had slipped back into an addiction, and it sent me into a tailspin. He is much better now, but I cannot seem to snap out of it. All I want to do is isolate.
I am trying to focus on the renewal of my mind and to try to choose joy, but it is such struggle to see the joy in things when I am hurting. I have heard that depression is anger focused inward, but I am not angry at me. I am angry at him…hmmmm. It’s a dilemma. I need some help!
Tiffany Clark says
I often hear satans thoughts instead of Gods when I have failed. I would love to learn how to hear Gods conviction instead of condemnation. Thanks for sharing
Sarah Weeden says
I would really appreciate this right now. I’m struggling with God’s path for me and I feel like such a failure. I’ve sunk into a deep depression and am having a hard time pulling myself out of it. If you would consider me I would really appreciate it.
I feel sometimes that God will not keep on forgiving me when I repeat the same sin eg: not praying everyday or studying the word everyday or being self centered and caring about my needs instead of being more involed in the church. I know the word says a just man falls seven times and quickly rises up again, and that helps me to continue to try to do better each time I fail to do what is right. I just hate that my flesh sometimes wins and then I feel terrible. I want to kC2TC. I don’t know if you touch on this in your devotionals, but if not maybe you could add it somewhere down the road. Today is my first day reading your devotion. My daughter shared it with me this morning. I loved it.
Thank you for sharing this today. I often struggle & wrestle with comdemnation of myself for past sins that I committed. I’m trying to learn that Jesus has already forgiven me & I should do the same. I myself have been going through some rough times and because I’m so overwhelmed, I may take it out of my kids by saying things to them in the wrong tone. Comdemning them for things that they did, instead of learning how to re-word it so that it may convict their hearts to make them understand and think on what they did. Thank you dearly for your post!
I’d also like to share a quote from a friend that was given to me yesterday. It truely blessed me “God did not allow all of your hardships to destroy you…this rough place will develop you and your best is yet to come! -God loves you!”
Thanks Renee for this post. I have been struggling to lose the last 50 pounds of weight, I’ve already lost 50 and have done so good, in the last three months I came to a sudden halt, and nothing is happening and I’m starting to feel discouraged. I’m still doing what I have to do to lose, but it’s getting to the point where I want to stop ( I haven’t but I think about I)…… I start to think how bad I am for doubting and wanting to stop. I guess that’s satan trying to help me fail (guess this would be condemnation?) and then I feel conviction, cause I know I can do all things through Christ Jesus. I have submitted my doubts and discourgement to God and have asked Him to help me along this journey. I will continue to pray, and know that I will be victorious in Jesus…
It would be such a blessing to have a copy of your devotional…
Jennifer Jessop says
So many of us struggle with self-condemning thoughts. The definitions of condemnation and conviction were very helpful. I plan to share them with other women who deal with this issue. Thanks for sharing. This devotion is meeting a great need.
Renee, I have struggled with self doubt for most of my life. But especially so after becoming a Mom 7 years ago. I read your book A Confident Heart about a year ago and was so encouraged. I had some great breakthroughs. God was doing some amazing things in my life. But recently several circumstances has brought setbacks. I had already been thinking I needed some refreshing from your book and looking into getting your devotional book before your devotion on P31 today. Thank you for your encouraging words!
Sharice Wasson-Irons says
This so very often happens to me, quick to get upset and then tear myself down because of my outburst. I need this book to help m focus on the Holy Spirit and turn the negative thoughts I have into positive focus on what God has in store for me. Thank God for your inspiring ministry.
Susan G says
I want to kick condemnation not only ‘to the curb’, but into the next county! The evil one loves to use all the lies he can conjure up to keep us down and non-victorious. We need to remember – they are only LIES! I need to identify the ‘lies’ quicker each time I hear them, and to replace them with the Word of God – the real Truth!
I have been praying for discernment between God’s word and Satan’s word. Thank you for your post and helping me to begin to understand the difference.
I am such a perfectionist, that when anything goes astray from how I feel it should go, I get a little (sometimes a lot) frustrated. And when that happens sometimes I say and do things that aren’t in my “normal” character. My kids or husband at that time will look at me like I have three eyes! I admit that I can say some pretty hurtful things when I get mad. My problem is that I let things build up and then I explode! And of course I feel super guilty. So learning the difference between God’s conviction and Satan’s condemnation is so enlightening! Knowing we have such a loving, patient God is so awesome!
eliza black says
This month have been one of struggles at every corner. But what have helped me it’s to know that i’m not the only one christian who is living through the same. To know that it’s not bad for me to feel the way i feel and that also it’s something that could be overcome, it’s reconforting. Thanks for sharing not only your personal struggles, but also to helping us with practical tips c:
I’ve struggled so much with this my whole life. I’m really looking forward to getting this devotional.
Condemnation and shaming seems to be a continual struggle – the I’m not good enough or I’m failing thoughts are sometimes almost paralyzing in a way. The contrast between condemnation and conviction is so stark that it should be something easily grasped and yet I slip back into the feelings of guilt so quickly some days! Clinging to the ‘there is therefore now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit’ of Romans 8:1 and realizing how your blog post today rings so true to what God wants me to understand right where I am!
Sue H. says
I grew up in a household with an alcoholic father and a co-dependent mother. Guilt was how you lived in my house. I married an alcoholic, abusive man and stayed with him for 32 years…of course everything that went wrong was my fault. For 2 years after he divorced me, I would look in the mirror and call myself the names he had always called me. One day I saw this necklace that had a little peapod on it and the word “Princess”. I thought, that’s what I am because I’m God the King’s daughter. Every time I would start to call myself a name I would hold onto that necklace and tell myself “I’m a child of God”. Now you would think I had it made but the guilt for so many other things gets overwhelming at times. I didn’t think of it as Satan trying to convince me that I am unworthy. I don’t know what you can do for me more than you have with your words of encouragement. I will be asking for the 3 Ways to Kick Condemnation to the Curb message. Thank you for being a woman God is using to help people like me.
Joanna Guntet says
I have those condemning thoughts a lot, and they mess with the belief in my goodness. I want to kick Satan to the curb. I want to be able to discern effectively between conviction and condemnation. I want to be able to push away those condemning thoughts with strength in God’s words of love for me.
Yes! I am sometime so condemning. I best myself up over things I know I ought to let go. Especially things that have
hurt me or people that hurt me.
Lord Jesus, please help me to “let it go!” in Jesus name AMEN! Forgive me my sins and heal my broken heart. No more condemning, no more condemnation. The Lord sent not his son into the world to conemn us, so then why should we condemn ourselves?
Kristi Mineer says
I never realized until reading this encouragement that there was a difference
between condemnation and conviction. Now that my eyes have been opened, and my heart made aware I realize I have been cowering in condemnation abd lack of self worth most of my life. Any help to break free from this bondage would be grace in action. Thank you.
Your scenario today was like you were in my house watching. I am the mom of 4 children aging from 3 months up to 8 years old. I condemn myself a lot and feel like a failure most of the time. I find myself having to stop and pray and asking God to forgive me and asking my children or husband or whomever is involved to forgive me for losing my temper & patients. And each day God gives me the grace to continue on and is constantly working within me to make me stronger in Him where I know my worth in Him and don’t continue to constantly make these same mistakes
Thank you for being obedient to God and helping us (other women) understand the difference between the two. May God continue Bless you and use you for His glory!
It would truly be a blessing to win one of your giveaways.
Thanks for your insightful words! I struggle with guilt and condemnation through examples like yours. There are times when I have corrected my children or spoken to my husband in not-so-loving ways. In the heat of the moment, I only feel right and deserving. However, afterwards, the negative thoughts set in. I would like to learn to listen to the HS at those times and not Satan.
I so struggle with past sin issues that I can’t “make right” with individuals. Although I have confessed these sins to the Lord, I have no way to find people from over 40 years ago and the enemy keeps telling me unless I confess my wrong done to them (leave your gift at the altar) then I can’t be forgiven. At least I think it’s the enemy. Is it the enemy? Why would it keep coming up? Should I be trying to find people from 40 to 50 years ago and ask their forgiveness for offences??
"Bea" Joy in CA says
Thank you Renee for the EXACT encouragement God knows I personally needed today!
I’m reminded of (and grateful for) the gift we have—The Holy Spirit indwelling us with loving conviction (those gentle whispers of loving correction) to draw us to repentance and restoration!
Renee, the best and most kind way you can help me overcome guilt and condemnation: I simply ask for the gift of prayer today—over my heart and mind—that in those moments in my life when I realize “Uh oh, I’ve just blown it again”—whether in my attitude or through an unkind word spoken to a family member—please will you pray that I will quickly be able to discern between the LIES of the Enemy and The Voice of Truth from the Holy Spirit. I look forward to being built up stronger in my faith in the days ahead as I learn and begin practicing 3 Ways to Kick Condemnation to the Curb (for good)!
And thank you for the chance to win one of your Summer Devotional Gift Packs! The CD message you plan to include in your give-away sounds like the perfect message I need to hear so that I can serve God more confidently, and thus effectively, as one who is called to write and speak for Him. (Dear Lord, please equip me with your confidence!) I look forward to possibly meeting you Renee at She Speaks in a few weeks!
Elaine Segstro says
Thank you for sharing the difference between condemnation and conviction. I often look back and feel “condemned” for how I raised my sons, what I said and did to family and to others. I SO appreciate you sharing of the Holy Spirit’s conviction – how freeing!
Melita M. says
The past 1-1/2 years have been the most difficult. What confidence I had and my peace and joy are gone. The excitement I had in studying God’s Word is gone as well. I see myself only as a failure. I fear the future and see loneliness. Fear consumes me. I feel rejected and unwanted. I want so much to be loved.
although I have a wonderful husband, I regularly have thoughts of not being a good enough wife. After a little argument this past weekend, I have especially been feeling like a horrible wife. This devotional spoke right to my heart today. I appreciate you, your heart, and your prayers!
I love this I am so bad at condemning myself always feels condemned no matter what I do love your postings
I love your book! I think the devotional (and these other awesome materials!) would be a wonderful way to daily remind myself of my worth in God’s eyes. I struggle with anxiety/depression at times, and I’ve always had issues with self esteem. When I did “A Confident Heart” online Bible study with Proverbs 31 ministries, I really felt like a burden lifted from my mind! I went from a place of fear to a place of confidence in my Lord and His plan for me.
The thing that really helped me was the weekly Bible verses to memorize and map out (if I had time to map them!). So, if I had to tell you the best way you could help me, it would be a weekly email or printable Bible verse series that I could commit to memory (or at least write down and post in my car to look over on my daily commute!).
Thank you so much Renee for all you do!
I live with a contant reminder that I am always wrong. Reading today about the difference between condemnation and conviction was extremely helpful and eye opening. Not being good enough is Satan’s lies. Thank you for this post. I think this book #kc2tc would be a great benefit in helping me overcome listen to the lies. Thank you!
I have difficulty hearing God and knowing which path is the right path to take. Reading your devotions seem to help clear the water as to what God whats for me and it makes it easier to just learn and be peaceful and listen to God and know that it is Him.
I have such a problem with this. Thank you for sharing. I will need to pray daily for the discernment needed to only trust the convicting voice and then to act on it.
As a mom, I feel like my go-to reaction when my son “messes up” is to preach and heap guilt on him. I hate that he feels that way because I love him so. I am consciously working on how I say things to him, as well as not saying too much. Stop and pray before you speck, mama!