It is our natural, fallen tendency to make excuses. Our human propensity is to try to squirm out from under the weight of all those unpleasant feelings, concerning what we are doing or saying and when we are pondering something unrighteous or unholy. Because sanctification is a process, and because perfect personal holiness will not be achieved until we reach our glorified state in a resurrected body, the daily feelings of conviction will abound in our Christian lives. We will feel all varieties of large and small pangs of guilt for our less than holy words, actions and attitudes. Not only do we have a conscience given to all people for such a purpose, but as Christians we have our conscience kicked into turbo drive because of the regenerative work of the Holy Spirit, beginning at the point of our repentance and faith in Christ. More than that, God himself has invaded our lives and his holy presence will ensure that God’s “hand is heavy upon us” when we fail to deal with our sin (Psalm 32:3-4). How we respond to these daily pangs that are intended to drive us toward increasing holiness is obviously at the heart of spiritual growth. How can we grow spiritually and become more like Christ while failing to own up to and confess the sins that entangle our minds, words and actions? God has saved us irrespective of our holiness (Ephesians 2:8; Titus 3:5), but he saves us so that we might live holy lives (Titus 2:14; 1Peter 1:15). Being responsive to the Spirit’s conviction is key.