Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. -I Corinthians 7:10, NIV.

Today’s sermon at church brought godly conviction in my heart. The topic was discipleship and obeying God in the mundane. It was a good reminder to me about making a decision to follow Jesus and following through on that decision day by day.

The specifics of the Holy Spirit convicting me was over my ruminating on my drive about how I would respond to my ex-wife if I ran into her again. God gently reminded me in the service that I have forgiven her and ought not to ruminate on such negative things. He encouraged me to focus upon the gifts He has lavished upon my life cultivating gratefulness as opposed to bitterness. I can choose whether or not to ruminate, and I can choose to honor my choice to forgive her. God reminded me of that truth.

I say this was the Holy Spirit who convicted me because I noticed the fruit of the conviction. It was godly sorrow as opposed to worldly sorrow. In other words, I did not hear condemnation in the conviction. It was not an attack on me as a person or a shame assault on my personal worth.

The Holy Spirit simply and gently reminded me of what I already knew: ruminating on angry and verbally violent thoughts towards my ex-wife is not very forgiving and just drags my spirit down into the muck. It is much better to look at the spunky little three year old and her smiles remembering how she would never have come into my life apart from my first marriage ending, for example. Time is better spent counting my many blessings.

What do gifts has God given you to be thankful for?

A son? A daughter?

A beautiful day?

A dog? A cat? A ferret?

While adultery is wrong and I do not apologize for being passionate in saying such, I encourage all–self-included–to dwell on things above like our perfect Father who gives us perfect gifts!

And let’s count our blessings together.


7 thoughts on “Conviction”

  1. Amen, DM! I struggle with this every day, but I’m realizing slowly that it’s the only way to be able to move forward. Allowing ourselves to think that way leads nowhere but DOWN. I’m thankful that the feelings are less and less intense, and no contact really, really helps.

    1. Paula- I would add that it is okay to allow yourself to think that way. What it comes down to is staying there. Some days are better than others. When you make it to a better day, even if takes a little longer than maybe you were thinking it would, you’re okay.

  2. I want to get to that place where I feel
    This way. But right now I am going through a nasty divorce battle where ex is fighting for every little thing and raising 2 very small children on my own. At the same time ex is enjoying his freedom, having love of his life, and has plenty of rest at night without kids waking him up. Exactly as he wanted.
    I wouldn’t switch places with him bc I love my children but I hate that I have to share my time with them with a narcissistic ex who thinks his happiness is the most important thing in the world.
    As you can see I am still mad and angry. I am also angry with myself because I chose a man like this to be my husband. I had no idea who he really was I wish so much I would know better. He is charming and says all the right things when he needs something. This is how he got me.
    I am only a year after d day and him walking away and leaving me pregnant with a toddler. Right now it seems like I have to do hard work day and night when he is enjoying his carefree life. Even my mom had to leave my dad for a while and come to help me to raise my kids so that I could work. My exs actions hurt so many people and I haven’t heard a word of any remorse. It’s all ok bc his happiness is the most important thing.
    I just pray every time I think this way for a God to allow me to forgive.

    1. Mommy of 2-it’s a journey, don’t beat yourself up. You, along with everyone else who’s faced head on the hell and damages incurred form infidelity, have very legit reasons to be angry etc. It’s okay to say you’re still angry, you still want karma to take over, you can’t forgive etc. It’s okay if you’re a year out or 5+ years out. Some days are better than others, flare ups happen and can catch us off guard if a trigger we weren’t aware of comes up, or maybe we were aware of it but underestimated the power it still held. I think one of the key things of DM’s post is that he doesn’t deny what he’s feeling or feel ashamed of it either. He acknowledges it, validates it and says “okay God, I’m ready to admit it’s out of my hands, help me with this…..Ok…. what are the blessings I have?” (He can also write this post b/c he does give vent to what he’s thinking. He gets snarky. We’ve gotten better at giving each other freedom to do just that. “Keep it holy” really isn’t all that helpful until a certain point. We always end back at something more grace filled, eventually. Sometimes it takes a few tries).

      I’ll come right alongside you in your anger. I get angry when people get taken advantage of. (If I had it my way I’d also have legal practice in housing law (among others). I’m fed up with my families finding themselves in crisis b/c of stupid landlords that don’t follow the law and take advantage of my families!! I want to shut them down! ARGH!) Same annoyance and anger applies to infidelity.

      My personal approach is empathy first, even with snarky comments. I’ve either thought it/said it myself, heard someone else say it or can imagine myself saying/thinking it if I were in their shoes. Eventually the conversation shifts. I’ll come right alongside you yet again when you’re at that point. There’s no set timeline on when “eventually” arrives. In some sense it never arrives simply b/c some days are better than others so there’s always an “eventually.” I’m probably more upset with DM’s ex than he is (with some things he’s gentler than I am). When it comes right down to it, I know that yes, I’ve forgiven her. I also know that some days I believe that more than others. And I also know my boundaries. I’m very direct, blunt, not passive aggressive and not timid (that in an of itself is enough to ruffle feathers and throw people). I know forgiveness doesn’t mean things are all hunky dory.

      Keep putting one foot in front of the other. You have a lot of strength in you, you’ve made it this far. You will survive.

  3. Praying for you and your ex-wife right now, that God may use both of you to represent Him well to the world and that you will find forgiveness!

    1. Lightningjack,

      While I usually welcome prayer, I question the direction of your prayers “on my behalf.” To be frank, what you write comes across as condescending and rather arrogant. It sounds to me as if judgement is being passed upon me saying I am unforgiving toward my ex-wife and thereby need to “find forgiveness.” I do not know if that was your intention but I am wary of accepting your prayers for that reason. I will give you the benefit of the doubt this time and assume that that was not what you were trying to say.

      Second, you suggest you are praying that my ex-wife will represent Him well. Then pray that she can repent and have an encounter with the Living God. Can Jesus still use her? Of course. Can she represent him well? Yes. But she’s got a few steps to go before that can happen. Our last communication with her from June 2014 shows that she still thinks she’s done nothing wrong. She will not be able to access the full power of her own witness until she’s actually able to look herself in the mirror and let God refine her there.

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