In a pendulum swing between wrong and right, the gift of conviction will help you remain true to yourself. Have you ever experienced a feeling inside that something you are about to do is wrong, even if it wasn’t fundamentally wrong? This my dear friend is mostly conviction and it will protect your authenticity if you listen to it. Anything motivated out of fear should be a good indicator that something isn’t right. The word of God makes it clear that the Holy Spirit “will teach you all things and remind you of all things God has told you.”¹
"However when the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth."² We can see with clarity that the Spirit of God is a gift to all who would receive Him.
In the world we live in today authenticity is a rare quality that many desperately seek to possess. The problem is, in the 21st Century there are so many voices to listen to. Especially when it comes to who or what we should be. This doesn’t just cause problems for us as individuals. It is also starving the world from really authentic people making an impact on society. The power of the gospel is the cross. Jesus is the one our identity should come from if we want to silence the voices of imitation around us.
Authenticity is in very simple terms, “the quality of being authentic.” Being authentic means you step into all you were made to be regardless of what the crowds opinion is. It is being fully yourself, when everything around you is telling you to become an imitation of something or someone else. Authenticity is the courage to be honest with yourself and go into the core of your being to pull out the realest version of you.
"To be nobody but myself – in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me somebody else – means to fight the hardest battle any human can fight, and never stop fighting." - e.e. cummings
Conviction truly is a gift in the process of authenticity. Sometimes something that’s wrong for you isn’t wrong for someone else. The moment when we can fully take a hold of following the inner voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is the moment we will finally be on the road to victory of the authentic self.
What is the difference between conviction and condemnation?
- Conviction reminds you of who you are, while condemnation tells you, “you will never be that.”
- Conviction leads to transformation in the most inner part of you. Condemnation shames you and leads to death in the heart. It causes you to stop fighting.
- Condemnation tells you “look at what you’ve done, you are a horrible person,” while conviction tells you “that’s not the best version of you, you’re better than that mistake.”
- Conviction leads to truth and the believing of it, where condemnation leads to self-doubt, fear and insecurity.
- Conviction celebrates you and condemnation criticizes you.
- Condemnation tells you “this is who you are, you are a thief, lustful person, gossiper, adulteress, etc,” which makes you feel shame and guilt. Conviction says, “this is what you’ve done, but it’s not who you are.”
- Conviction leads to authenticity, while condemnation leads to numbing and being an imitation.
- Condemnation shuts you down, while conviction calls you higher.
Examples of conviction in the process of authenticity:
“Hey that thing you’re about to do, it doesn’t feel like you.”
“The way you wrote that sounded more like (x), than it would sound if you wrote it.”
“You don’t actually like wearing that, but you wear it because…”
“Maybe you shouldn’t do that, because it violates your beliefs.”
“I don’t feel peace about what I’m about to do.”
“That’s not yours, you just copied someone else’s (x), it feels off.”
“What are your own dreams?”
“That will violate someone, maybe it’s wrong.”
“Maybe you should correct that, it could be a problem in the future.”
Because love always gives you a choice, the action upon conviction isn’t forceful, but an invitation to partner with who you were created to be.
If you lean close into these moments, however small or soft, and truly trust God on His words, you will see the fruit of authenticity break through the surface of your skin. Being authentic is attractive and the world is longing for you to be fully you. There is only one of you, and only you can achieve your dreams with your uniqueness. Your authenticity will look different than everyone else’s. Take courage dear one, and be you.
¹ John 14:26
² John 16:13