Ohhhh kay. There is a big difference with these four words. Can you guess it? Do you know it? Do you live in the light of their truth, or find yourself cowering in the lies?

Guilt is never from our heavenly father. He doesn’t ever wrinkle his nose and point a witchly finger our way and wag it to the death of our souls. Never. Did you catch that? Never. Guilt says to a person that they have done wrong, they have done bad and they’d might as well just take up residence here because nothing will ever change, and no good will come from them again. Not after whatever situation or decision you’d just made. Guilt draws up a scalding hot bath filled to the brim of unproductive false shame and tells you to get comfy. Guilt says you’re a bad person, you’ve been bad, and you’ll always be bad. Even if you’d hoped for more, it’ll never happen. In case this is news, read, read all about it; you’re heavenly father is not about guilt. Never has been, never will be. Guilt will never get you where you want to be. Guilt is the enemys’ form to twist conviction (a God-given tool for truth) just slightly, though brash enough that you’ll listen, and without action against it, drown in its negativity. You, sons and daughter of Christ, have been adopted into the glorious riches of your heavenly father.

Conviction however, is that pressing against your chest, that loving correction that a good father gifts his sons and daughters with. It is correction filled with hope. It is epson salts added to a warm bath, inviting you to cleanse your soul and make right with it; make right with your maker. Conviction says “What the heck were you doing, allowing sin to think and decide in your life? You’re a new creation, in case you’ve forgotten! Your sin is not you, your sin is working in you, but you’ve been deemed a saint… not a slug”. Conviction says “Clean yourself up, right your wrongs, and begin to live again in the freedom your heavenly father has given you”. Conviction includes shame, but this shame is a good shame. It helps you to recognize the law He has written on your heart. Conviction shows you the awful in your life while giving you hope for a future! Conviction brings action to apologies and renews a right thinking within you (check out Romans 12.1-2)

When I go into the cookie jar and I know I’m not allowed to; in fact, I told my grandma I wouldn’t touch her beautiful poker-chip decorated cookies because I knew they were for her special Ladies Poker Night, I have absolutely no right to say “Oops grandma, sorry, that was a total mistake!” Of course, my grandma being such a loving lady, would entirely forget it and give me another cookie, but that doesn’t erase my sin. In fact, it just gived me the potential of gaining weight… and covering my sin by claiming mistake would only cause me to sin again as I lie through my cookie filled teeth. If I’m okay lying to my grandmother about a cookie, what else will I be or become okay with? If you’re allowing ‘mistake’ to cover your sin, watch out. Allow truth and conviction to clean you up, and keep an honest person of you. Not a perfect person of you, but rather an honest person of you. All of us fall short- and there is no purpose in allowing yourself to fall even shorter when forgiveness is always around the corner from your heavenly father. On the other hand, if you are a perfectionist, sometimes honest mistakes become masked as sin. That’s the enemy! Don’t be fooled, its’ not worth it. Mistakes can eat away at us until we feel like worms, and I’m pretty sure Psalm 8 is very clear in saying he made us a lower (not less, lower) than the heavenly beings, crowning us with glory and honor. No where in there does it mention worms.

Sin is sin is sin is sin. Now, we can look at sin and how it infests our world and invest in the bitterness and resentment it so easily could produce. We could also look at the sin in our own or in others lives and chalk it all up to little mistakes. Either way couldn’t be more detrimental than leaving a loaded gun with toddlers. Sin is a very pretty, shiny thing. A pretty shiny thing promising good and stealing away from the lives of people literally everywhere. I’ve learnt that now, being a new creation in Christ, I am not sin. Sin lives IN me. There is a difference. And if you need to, I give you permission to sit back and consider that for a second (“It is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me” -Apostle Paul, Romans 17.7). It beautiful really. Much more beautiful than sin or its momentary happiness. Being that sin is within in us and not us doesn’t mean we point our finger at our chest when we sin and say “It wasn’t me, it was sin!” No of course not. We take responsibility for the sin in us, and bring it to God to cleanse and restore.

So, here’s your recap;

Guilt: inappropriate and nearly illegal tool used by the enemy to make you dwell in sludgy scum in a forgivable past, claiming relation to ‘conviction’. Don’t be fooled, they’re nowhere near being related.

Conviction: Won’t give you warm fuzzies, but will bring your hope in light of His grace for your future as He reveals your presently dirtied heart.

Mistakes: Nothing to drown yourself in sorrow over, though mistakes are beautiful learning moments. Never okay to cover sin over with this lovely learning tool.

Sin: Never okay to cover or excuse as a mistake. Sin is not who you are, sin is the enemys’ attempt to work within you. Sin is always forgiveable and you never need to ‘live’ with your sin- just bring yourself and your sin to his cross. Leave it there, he’s already taken care of it anyhow.