About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager, and grace-needer. She's the best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and her new book, "A Confident Mom" is releasing Fall 2021. Renee is also the familiar voice of a friend to women around the world as former Proverbs 31 Ministries' radio co-host and executive...

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  1. Renee, your words always bless. Thank you. I’ve been discovering that it’s fear that stops me from following my convictions, fear of anger. I have that voice of condemnation SO often during my day and it actually also makes me feel guilty about doing and saying the right thing for fear of making others angry. It says things like: “You’re being unfair. You’re being too strict. It’s not kind. Keep your mouth shut. Be nice. Be good.” and so I’ll often keep my mouth shut or I’ll pander to please, rather than admitting my own faults or setting boundaries with those who hurt or take advantage of me.

    • Oh. That is a great insight Anna. I can see myself doing that too. Praying for us both, for wisdom and discernment to help our hearts follow God’s lead in taking the next step, instead of shrinking back in fear. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!!

    • Anna, I agree with Renee…your words display a great insight with your confession of fear of others anger. I will join you and Renee in prayer for each of us who confess this struggle with “fear of making others angry”. Yes, Renee, praying for wisdom and discernment for us, too.

  2. Wow! This really helps me understand the difference. I really needed that. I hear these words in my head all the time and sometimes get confused…. But God gives direction, and that makes all the difference. Thanks Renee!

    • So glad today’s post brought clarity for you too Suzi. For so many years I didnt know the difference between conviction and condemnation and these truths really set me free! I love how Jesus leads us with His compassion, grace and truth.

    • Suzi, I can relate to getting confused by the accusations. Thanking God with you for seeing that He is not the author of confusion but gives us clear direction. Lifting you up with the others here in prayer.

  3. wow… I have felt and feel like that so many times. I am always asking God, why did you choose me as their mom? Thank you for clarifying and setting a distinction between these. I feel very grateful for people who share their stories, so that others don’t feel alone.

    • Marilyn, I am so glad to hear that today’s post reminds you that you’re not alone. We all blow it as mamas and need God’s grace again and again. I’m praying today’s encouragement and clarifying truths will stay close by your side today and rooted in your heart today. 🙂

    • Marilyn, you are not alone in the battle. Even as a mom of an adult child those accusations can still fly…usually to do with the “what ifs”. Thanks for sharing your heart so we can fight in the battle together. Praying for all of us with thanksgiving for this encouragement today.

  4. Renee, I remember when I first was becoming aware of the concepts of conviction and condemnation, it was often said to me, “The enemy condemns, but the Holy Spirit convicts”. However, I don’t recall ever hearing such a clear explanation of the difference in practical examples. I thank the Lord for the insight he gave the pastor who taught you and then you writing here with likely more application from a woman’s perspective. I can so relate to each of the accusations and take heart with the conviction + instruction examples you gave. What a blessing to read this today!

    • Thank you for your sweet encouragement Diana. I am so glad it helped you too. I think I needed today’s post as much as anyone. My heart always needs reminding. 🙂

  5. Renee, thank you so much for this reminder. I seem to always be finding myself in that “kitchen moment” and then feel the weight of guilt so heavy on my soul. Thank you for the gentle reminder that our Creator does not condem us and shake his finger in our faces. His spirit is that gentle nudge to stop and be still and let Him redeem the “kitchen moments”. The words “I’m sorry” are not used often anymore and what a wonderful reminder that our children/loved ones need to hear this. He can use those “kitchen moments” to be teachable moments. Thanks again for your words of wisdom today. My heart really needed it!

    • Amen. The gift of an apology is missing today and yet such a beautiful powerful act that ushers our hearts into humility where God’s grace can then come and restore us to Him and to the one we hurt with our words. Lord, help us remember this today and every day.

  6. My fears have a lot to do with being a single mom and my oldest going off to a different state for college. I have a fear of lack of money and of being alone the rest of my life. I am afraid nobody will ever be interested in me again

  7. The truth here is ‘conviction’ not ‘condemnation’. When God convicts of something, we are called to repentance and He quickly forgives! Condemnation comes from the ‘enemy of our souls’, and we should be quick to identify the enemy. It is hard to forget sometimes, as I know… Almost 35 years ago I can still hear myself going off on my young daughter… She doesn’t have a clue today that that even happened..but sometimes the enemy tries to bring it up. And all I need to say is “get thee behind me satan!” I’m under the blood, loved and forgiven by my great God.
    May you do the same! 🙂
    Thank you for this! None of us is perfect – just Jesus!

  8. I just have such a hard time controlling my emotions in conversations that overwhelm me and I am often apologizing again and again. The Holy Spirit convicts me to go back and seek forgiveness and try again. It’s hard!

    • It takes time, Jennifer, but I promise you that with God’s help and a reliance on His spirit in you, change is possible. I’ve still got a ways to go but boy have I seen God do a miraculous work in my life (and my mouth) by helping me be slow(er) to speak, quick(er) to listen and slow(er) to become angry/frustrated/critical. In the slowing, I”m learning to let Him harness my emotions and reactions. Praying for you to see that change I know your heart desires — over time. Be patient with yourself and give that heart of yours lots of grace. 🙂

  9. Thank you for your thoughts. I need to apologize to my brother. I was so angry that he went forward without me to speak with our sister. I am worried about her, my nephew who is a heroine addict of very recent date and her inability to make the tough choices. I am in the wrong and my way is not the only way. You helped me see that.

  10. Renee, I read this yesterday and it hit home with me. I too hear the other one accuse me of being a terrible mom, sister, daughter and friend. After I read it I felt compelled to leave my browser tab open to save ànd reread again later. This morning something happened with my teen daughter and a lie she told ended up causing her to be stranded alone somewhere with no way home. I got a panicked text about how sorry she was an what a bad person she was for lying. I borrowed a car to go get her and showed her this blog once we were home. She shouldn’t have lied yes, but she’s not a terrible kid. She now sees it was the other one telling her how horrible she is but also the Spirit leading her out of the situation by telling me and repenting. This helped her immensely. She suffers from deep depression and this clarification kept a pothole from becoming a sinkhole! Thank you.

    • Wow. I just love how God works. Thank you so much for sharing how God used Friday’s post to help you personally, and to walk your daughter out of condemnation and into a place of grace-filled, heart re-directing conviction. Reading your comment blessed me so much!! 🙂

  11. Renee,
    Thank you for such wise words. For years I heard and believed the condemnation of the evil one. “You’re not smart”, “Can’t do anything right”, “Stupid”, Etc. I would recite them crying myself to sleep. I’ve also had convictions from Holy Spirit. “You blew it today–try to do better tomorrow”. I believe the Holy Spirit and pray about my missteps knowing full well that God will forgive me for being human!
    Blessings 🙂

  12. Thank you Renee! I needed this to help me understand the difference! So hard sometimes to tell the difference between those ‘voices in my head’!! But this make so much sense….been trying to listen to that ‘still, small voice’ more often.

  13. Oh how I beat myself up when I “lose it” with my kids or my husband. Satan loves to use those moments of humanness to keep us defeated. God reminds us that when I was yet a sinner He died for me which gives me the strength and courage to do whatever it is that I need to do to make it “right.” I loved how you were able to communicate the difference between condemnation and conviction. Thank you

  14. Thank you for reminding me of these differences. Sometimes it’s so hard to hear God’s truth when the barrage of condemning lies are shouting so loudly– thanks for a few tips in how to step back and get some perspective.