24/7/365 GROW

Conviction vs. Condemnation

For the last 5 weeks the Young Adult group at FFUMC has been journeying through Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love.”  It has already been an up and down battle emotionally for the Young Adults.  We recently spent 24 weeks in Rob Bell’s Nooma.  Although very challenging to our life with Christ there was not nearly as much content that stretched our faith and our perspectives.  For a long time when I would read something that felt like something that went against the way that I FELT I would shut down.  I wrote it off as false and declared my own thoughts the winner.  I know, that’s a little ridiculous.  However, as I have matured as a young man in ministry and as a follower of Christ I have learned that listening carries with it a great deal of respect, responsibility, and power.  I work now to find perspective in challenging things.  I have stretched my heart to take difficult things (whether I agree with them or not) and allow for conviction and perspective instead of condemnation and judgment.  Is this a hard thing for us to do as believers?  Absolutely!  We want to live right, and our human nature wants to BE RIGHT.  Listening though and taking perspective from other people and from God’s Word will keep us humble.  It will keep us focused on children of God and on the Kingdom.  I have a core set of values that I live by that are deeply rooted in the truth of God’s Word.  However, I want to maintain a strong ability to listen, respect, and step back from my life to examine each new ideas place in my life and as a part of some of my core values.  As I find myself more and more convicted I find myself feeling less and less condemned.  I do not shut people out because of disagreements.  I do not close my ears because I don’t like what I hear.  I want to know God’s people.  I want to understand where people are coming from.  I want to maintain an opportunity for relationships and for personal growth.  Conviction leads me to a greater relationship with Christ.  Condemnation shuts me down.  If we could allow ourselves to be convicted, in a healthy way, more often I believe our impact on the Kingdom and our ability to step back from our lives to regularly take perspective on our ways of living would change dramatically.   Where are you at today?  In need of some conviction or fighting back  feelings of condemnation?  Have a challenging and fantastic Tuesday!

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