Shame or Godly Conviction [Part 2]
Are you ready for some good news?
The conviction of the Holy Spirit is altogether different than shame. True, godly conviction is a sweet gift of liberty guiding you back to the Father.
Today’s Text: ““But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.” ’” (Luke 15:17–19, ESV)
As we continue in our classic radio series on the healing of shame, we look again today at the parable of the two sons. The younger son squandered his inheritance in rebellious living while the older brother remained at home dutifully “slaving” on the family estate. When the younger son became impoverished and hungry, Jesus said, “He came to himself.” It’s a picture of the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
The rebellious son had brought scandal upon his family and knew he wasn’t worthy to be called a son. But he wanted to go home.
The sweet conviction of the Holy Spirit brings you remorse for your wrongdoing, but it isn’t designed to make you feel bad about yourself. It’s meant to draw you homeward.. It’s entirely possible to feel great sadness over your sin while, at the same time, feeling utterly hopeful.
The moments of deepest conviction of sin in my life have been accompanied by the greatest awareness of the love of God. When you know that God has seen you at your worst and still has His arms open toward you, you have discovered the essence of the Gospel. The younger son comes home and falls into His father’s arms and into the celebration of the whole community.
Meanwhile, the older brother stews outside the celebration as he murmurs his bitter claims of self-righteousness. If the younger brother is a picture of how the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, the older brother is a picture of how hell heaps shame on the soul.
Shame isolates. Shame rejects celebration. Shame can’t accept the Father’s affection.
So the older misses the party despite all his dutiful conformity. And the scandalous, undeserving younger brother eats filet mignon. That’s the difference between shame and conviction. And that’s the Gospel!
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