There is one drawback to a child becoming more intelligent, however. That is his ability to cover-up his misbehavior. If he pushes his sister down, he can quickly come up with a story about how she tripped and fell. If something breaks, he can hide it so we won’t find out or blame it on someone else.
He’s good, but not that good. You see, no matter how smart he thinks he is, there is some sort of involuntary reaction he has when he has disobeyed or done something wrong. Even if I don’t see him throw a toy, if I happen to look his way in the moments following him doing so guilt is written all over his face. His guilty look makes it impossible for him to hide his bad behavior.
I’m sure that, at some point, I had a guilty look. But as I matured, I mastered the art of masking my embarrassment and shame. I have become a pro at hiding my faults and my pain. That is, except for when I am talking to God.
While I don’t have a physical guilty look that makes my transgressions obvious, I have yet to find a way to stop my soul from aching to confess to God. It is completely involuntary. Yet, I know I have done wrong and I cannot rest until I confess and ask for forgiveness.
I am sure this is what most people refer to as conviction. However, it reminds me so much of my son’s guilty face. He doesn’t want me to know because he does not want judgment or punishment put on him. But he cannot hide it. He can’t ignore it.
Unfortunately, many grown-ups have managed to master the art of ignoring their convictions. And when we start to ignore the convicting voice of the Holy Spirit, it becomes more and more difficult for us to discern His voice from that of temptation, selfishness, and sin. It makes it easier for us to avoid confession and repentance. It becomes easier to give in to the same sin over and over again.
While I am glad I was eventually able to shake the guilty look of my youth, I am very thankful for the one that keeps me confessing to my Lord. The conviction of the Holy Spirit keeps me connected to who God is and His plan for my life. Without it, I would be able to get away with things that would lead me away from Him. And that…is just not worth it.