Dear Jill,

I deal with ‘guilty daughter syndrome’ as I don’t go visit my parents that often and they only live 25 minutes away. We see them a lot at my kids’ sporting events (but no sports during the winter months right now) and for some reason I still feel guilty.




Dear Guilty,

When something needs to change, God uses conviction to move us in the right direction. Conviction is a red flag that says, “Somethings amiss,” (such as:  I need to be more intentional about seeing my parents) or “You missed the mark and you have a relational mess to clean up,” (such as: the tone I just spoke to my spouse was very short and impatient and I need to apologize.)  Conviction keeps us on the straight and narrow. It’s God’s loving way of keeping guardrails in our life that allow us to love well and live life to the fullest.

However, when conviction happens, the enemy often comes in and pushes us right out of conviction into condemnation.  Guilt can easily become condemnation.  Let the conviction move you to having your parents over once a month for dinner (every 2nd Tuesday of the month or something like that), but resist the lies of the enemy that want to label you in a negative way.

The Bible tells us in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Don’t let condemnation whisper messages that will steal your joy and keep you stuck.  But do let conviction motivate you to close this connection gap in your relationship with your parents.


What about you? Can you identify any place where conviction has slipped into condemnation? 



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