“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” – 1 John 1:9
The problem with conviction is that it harbors guilt, shame and regret. Have you ever been around someone who feels convicted about their actions? They have made several promises that they will quit smoking yet can’t seem to put the cigarette down. They chew nicotine gum or wear a patch to minimize their cravings, but somehow they end up with a cigarette in their hand. They feel empowered one minute to quit but when life stresses occur they resort back to old unhealthy patterns of behavior. The conviction in their heart hovers over them like a dark cloud and they seem to always be caught in the rain. Eventually, their promises become empty and expectations of them quitting are minimal. The truth is they are lacking in determination. Quitting may be difficult but it is very much possible.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” – 1 Corinthians 10:13
If you believe you can quit, you will. If you allow fleshly urges and desires to control your actions, than you will continue living in conviction. The problem when conviction goes unchecked, it gets transferred to others. Conviction is contagious. God brings conviction upon our hearts to guide our steps and direct us away from ungodly things. Even if you may not feel guilty about cigarettes, when you hang around the smoker, you are just as guilty. Guilty by association. If you see someone doing wrong and do not speak up, you are just as wrong, in the eyes of The Lord. As Believers, we have a responsibility to help those who are lost and pray for those in need. Lead by example. If you know someone struggling with addiction or conviction, do not give up on them. They need you now more than ever! They need your prayers, words of encouragement and support. Even if you feel like giving up on them, remember how God never gave up on you.
“As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear”
- – 1 Timothy 5:20