Imagine that you decided to surprise your parents or your partner while they were out one day by spring cleaning the living room. All day you cleaned and polished. The picture rail, the lampshade, under all the furniture, in every corner. Then they came home and you showed them the room. How would you feel if they said “It’s a shame you didn’t put the rug back straight”?
That’s what the devil is like. He wants to bring you down and discourage you. Every cup is half empty and everything you do is less than perfect. We need to recognise our faults and failings, but it is important that we know the difference between conviction and condemnation. Satan is our accuser (Rev.12:10) but Paul tells us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ (Rom.8:1). Condemnation brings feelings of hopelessness and despair. If you are feeling like that you need to reject it and look to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit brings conviction (John 16:8) – a sense that there is something wrong, but that we can do something about it. Related words are confidence, certainty, or reliance. The Holy Spirit tells us that the cup is half full, that God has brought you this far and will not let you down (Rom.8:2-4). He will work with you if you let Him.