In seventeenth-century England, convinced meant proven guilty. It was a term used in the courtroom, similar to “convicted.” A person became a convinced Quaker after being shown the errors of his or her ears, admitting them, surrendering to God’s judgment, and becoming liberated for a new kind of life. The Light reveals all the internal thoughts, mental patterns, and fantasies that resist the work of God. Although it is painful to see one’s internal conflict, continuing to face the Light and to see what it reveals in one’s own mind, heart, and behavior allows God to refine, or melt away, the inner impediments to the Light. – Marcelle Martin, Our Life Is Love, p. 62
We all want to be the hero of our own story. Unfortunately, every one of us has played the villain.
The judgment of God isn’t pleasant to think about, but the idea that God makes no distinction between someone who suffers for righteousness and someone who cheerfully inflicts suffering is too terrible to contemplate.