When I was young and zealous, the Bible had no higher function in my life than to convict me. Early morning Scripture reading was rewarded by pangs of guilt arising from some command I was conscious of breaking (“If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to them the other also”) or some pious ideal I was ignoring (“let justice roll down like waters . . . ).
God grant that we retain this capacity for conviction throughout our life. God grant also that this capacity matures, moving us beyond a shallow discipleship that wallows in conviction as its own perverse end and toward changed lives that change the world.
If conviction doesn’t aid growth, it’s distorted.
Here’s Matt’s and my latest podcast episode, timed for the beginning of Lent: The Top 10 Most Convicting Passages of the Bible.