Thoughts from Psalm 38 in the Passion Translation

Conviction vs. Condemnation
If you’ve read 1 & 2 Samuel, you know that David had to run for his life from King Saul, but there was a time in particular when David serenaded Saul with his harp and singing. One day as David played the harp, Saul threw arrows at him and missed. So, I love that he mentioned arrows in this Psalm that actually did pierce him, and it was God’s conviction. God protected him from arrows before, but David knew that conviction can be much worse than a real arrow. Today we see David truly suffer through conviction, and I’m sure we’ve all been there, when our “tears are liquid words and you can read them all.” See, true conviction from God is a good pain, because it’s growth. But the hard part is, you have to examine yourself for what you’ve done. Even more than that, you have to look at the turmoil and pain you’ve caused around you. God’s conviction is sweet, yet it’s a painful thing that we all must go through to become better. I want to take a closer look at conviction versus condemnation. 


1. From God
2. Makes us better
3. Holy Spirit guiding/peace in our souls
4. It comes in waves (I loved this teaching from my dad)  
5. God forgets our sin once we repent (as far as the east is from the west)
6. It calls you to a higher level of obedience and righteousness


1. From ourselves (or the devil)
2. Makes us worse
3. Evil tap dancing on our minds
4. Fear surrounds us
5. Constant thought
6. Feeling of being punished

We all make mistakes “and fall short of the glory of God,” but it’s so important to repent. There are times when we mess up and instant Holy Spirit conviction happens and we repent right away. Other times, we’re in worship, church, or Life Group and something is talked about and all of a sudden conviction comes because God is showing us sin in our hearts that we weren’t aware of. But, we must hang on to this truth: once we repent of that sin, God forgets it! If you get reminded of a past sin, you must understand where that comes from, and it’s not God! God’s conviction will always bring sadness because we have hurt the heart of God, but that sadness isn’t damaging, it’s peaceful and it causes us to rise up and be better. So, when you’re feeling condemned, stop and ask yourself, “Where is this coming from?” God is for you and His love is relentless, He never gives up on you. God’s conviction is to better us, not to depress us. His correction comes to raise us up, not to push us down.

Embrace God’s correction, but ladies, never let the devil condemn us. Our God has forgiven us and forgotten our sins and He calls us good and perfect. You, daughter of the King, are precious, and nothing you have ever done or will ever do will stop God from loving you. Once we repent and turn away from that sin, it will never stop the divine destiny over your life. However, if you choose to stay in your sin or sin whenever you want because God’s grace will cover you, make no mistake - you are taking the long way to your destiny and if you don’t begin to make changes your destiny will be delayed or not ever achieved. Grace and favor are always ours, but our obedience to God and our desire to please Him put us in the right place at the right time with the right people to be in the perfect will of God. Conviction is a good thing, it’s a God thing, and it takes us to where God is leading us. But, always remember, you are not condemned, you are free!

Joy Handley

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