Brace yourself, I’m going to talk about conviction of sin today. Now with that introduction this next sentence is going to sound like it’s totally out of left field, but stick with me.
One of the side benefits when we first had kids was I got to play with really neat toys and watch cartoons again. Of course I also had to endure the “Barney” phase, but I did enjoy some of the others. I even confess to enjoying Winnie the Pooh. I still know all the words to the Tigger song. But I got the biggest kick out of Eeyore. You remember the manic depressive donkey whose tail kept falling off.
I think that’s the picture many of us get when the Bible tells us “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” The “oh woe is me, I guess I deserved that” kind of attitude. But really it’s essentially saying that it’s a good thing to be aware that I need Jesus. Believe it or not, this is where conviction of sin comes in. Not sins primarily, but sin. In John 8:8-9 Jesus said God’s Spirit will convict the world in regards to sin. He’s not talking about specific sins but about the sin nature that each one of us is born with.
Everyone knows that lying or stealing or cheating is wrong. We may or may not feel bad about it but we know that it’s wrong. But it takes the Holy Spirit to convince our hearts that what, by nature, I cherish most highly is sin. That being self-realization; the right to set my own course. “The essence of sin is the claim to the right to myself, it goes down deeper than all the sins that were ever committed,” said Oswald Chambers. Why? Because it declares independence from God, and God made us to be dependent on him. That is going to rub some of you the wrong way but that is exactly why it takes the Holy Spirit to convict us of it.
Alright. So what? How does knowing this change my life? Stop trying to be good! God isn’t interested in making good people. He’s only interested in making saints; people who are absolutely and totally submitted to the Spirit of God living within them. People who have renounced any right to themselves and have Christ living his life through them. (see Galatians 2:20)
A person like that is no Eeyore. A person like that is powerful, purposeful, and complete.