Being raised in the church and saved at an early age, I understood what conviction of the Holy Spirit was all about. It is where God’s Spirit within you works on you from the inside of your being; it’s a feeling that something is wrong or needs to change. Jesus speaks of this in John when He says that the Spirit will convince people of their sin. I think what is missing in our world, and even in our churches, is the feeling of guilt over sin and a need to let the Lord deal with us regarding it.
Let me give you an illustration of what I am talking about.
When I was a high school student I was very good in math; actually I was the top math student in my school. During my junior year I had a teacher who gave very little time to take tests and for the first time I was getting a lower grade.
I knew all the material but just didn’t have time to finish as was the same for other good students. I was frustrated but since I was so shy I couldn’t face the teacher, so I wrote her a letter and put it on the clip outside her room. I don’t think I worded it right so it was misunderstood as a threat and I was called into the principal’s office. He actually yelled at me and I raised my voice back at him in defense of what I thought was justified. Because of the lateness of the day and being a Friday he told me he wanted to see me first thing on Monday morning. During that weekend I tried to justify myself before God and convince myself I was totally in the right. The Holy Spirit began to deal with me and by the time I got to school Monday morning my attitude had changed. When I went in to see the principal I said, “I am trying to live a Christian life and I am sorry for my attitude the other day” and then I went on with a calm voice explaining my reasoning for writing the letter to the teacher.
He said back to me, “I am also trying my best to live the Christian life and I am sorry for prejudging your intent but the way you went about it was wrong. Set up an appointment with the teacher and let her know how you feel”. I did so and she started giving us more time for our test and things worked out so much better for me and others in the class.
If you are not a Christian may the Holy Spirit convince you of your need to do so and if you are a believer then learn to listen to the Holy Spirit as He desires to guide you into all truth.