“And when he is come, he will reprove the of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (John 16:8-11 KJV)
Have you ever grumbled against someone? Maybe you see what they are doing and there is something wrong with it. On the one hand you do not want to complain. On the other you do not want to be a mindless person who simply conforms. Is there ever a time or place for reproving, correcting, setting straight, or bringing a situation into alignment? Can you really blame someone for being enough of an individual to speak up? James gives a harsh warning about grudges, murmurs, and that sigh in the background. “Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” (James 5:9 KJV)
What do you suppose that judge is looking for? Is he looking to see if your idea is better than the previous one? Is he merely looking to slap down any conflict at all? If our judgments are being judged, what is he looking for? The natural work of the Holy Spirit is to reprove us of sin. That is often the starting point where we even being to realize that we are in need of correction. Think on that term “reprove” for a minute.
Reprove… As in conviction? When we think of being in Christ or the Holy Spirit indwelling within us we want to think in terms of how He is making smooth our rough edges. How He is making us a well rounded individual. How He is making us a better person in this way or that. This all may be true, but they are more like peripherals around a more central task. The central task is conviction or reproving. Not to spur you in a general direction of becoming better at something, but to help you understand that there is no direction that you can go except to Him. No way to round off your rough edges, but that you must let Him completely remake you from the inside all the way out to those edges. So the newly rounded edges are rounded only as a function of a complete reconstruction.
“He that covereth a transgression seeketh love; but he that repeateth a matter separateth very friends.” (Proverbs 17:9 KJV)