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What is the difference between guilt and conviction?


Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit as He aligns our life with God’s Word. Conviction is the witness of God’s work in our life as He prunes us, directs us, chastens us and disciplines us as a loving parent would do for any child (Psa. 51:1–4, 7–17; Luke 5:8; Acts 2:37; Acts 9:6; Acts 16:29, 30; Rom. 2:15; 1 Cor. 14:24, 25)

Guilt comes in two parts: true and false. True guilt is the pain and remorse we correctly feel when we knowingly, willingly or repeatedly violate God’s Word. We are wrong, and we know it. Guilt is the natural and proper feeling that grows as we move farther away from God.

False guilt is guilt that Satan tries to lay on us after we become Christians such as “God can’t love someone like you”, “you’ll never be good enough to be saved”, “you’re the same old sinner you always were, you should just give up”, “God doesn’t listen you. Quit asking”, etc.

False guilt can even be self imposed, typically from a lack of Biblical knowledge. “I can never quit doing this sin; it is just too strong” is one example.

Conviction is good; true guilt is good. Both serve to realign us and reestablish our fellowship with God. False guilt is a tool of Satan, and is overcome with the Word (Matt 4)