The Conviction of Consequences

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Speaking among themselves, they said, "Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we're in this trouble."

Genesis 42:21

In the Plan A world, we wouldn't sin at all, period. But that world remains in God's future for us.

In the Plan B world, our sinful acts would be quickly followed by Spirit-inspired conviction and repentance. We'd still sin, but sin wouldn't be able to take root in our heart, corrupting our spirits and tainting our lives. In the Plan C world, we sin but aren't responsive either to our conscience or to the Spirit. We neglect our sin or rationalize it or keep on doing it. But, in time, the impact of our sin comes back to haunt us. We experience the conviction of consequences: broken relationships, lawsuits, poor health, etc. Finally, the pain resulting from our sin touches our hearts and leads us to repentance.

Joseph's brothers lived in the Plan C world. With the exception of Reuben, they didn't feel sorry for the suffering they had inflicted upon Joseph and even their own father. But when they found themselves in a helpless position like the one they once had put Joseph into the brothers began to feel bad for what they had done. It wasn't yet full repentance, but rather more like self-pity.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When you sin, what leads you to confession and repentance? How responsive are you to the convicting work of the Spirit?

PRAYER: Gracious God, it's your kindness that leads us to repentance. Sometimes we respond to the convicting whisper of your Spirit. Often we delay until the pain stemming from our sin penetrates our hard hearts.

Help us, Lord, to be more responsive to you. Give us a genuine hatred of our sin and the honesty to admit our failures both to ourselves and to you. Lead us back to you, in true repentance.

Even this day, Lord, may I be attentive to the voice of your Spirit, so that I might be more fully devoted to you and useful in the work of your kingdom. Amen.