I picture conviction as a niggling, ugly weed--one that we try very carefully to ignore. It's the kind of weed that is very hard to root up, so we cover it up as best we can to avoid dealing with the problem. Isn't it easy to shove our shortcomings in the closet and hide our sins behind a lovely big screen?
You just had a nasty thought. What did you do? Did you blush a little and promptly try to forget about it?
What does the Bible say about conviction? I John 1:8, 10 is pretty plain, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.... If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us."
So ignoring the still, small voice of Jiminy Cricket is a very big no-no indeed, and there will be consequences.
Oswald Chambers said something interesting about conviction:
Conviction of sin is one of the rarest things that ever strikes a man. It is the threshold of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict of sin, and when the Holy Spirit rouses the conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not his relationship with men that bothers him, but his relationship with God.That weed of mine (and yours) is not getting any smaller. Though our conscience may be numbed, it never quite goes away, and people have tortured themselves for decades trying desperately to believe that they don't have anything wrong with them. Don't be like that. We have the power to face our downfalls with power and confidence through Christ Jesus! There's something between those two verses I quoted above. Verse 9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."