Greetings Beautiful People!
When we are struggling with our issues and mistakes, we tend to do one of two things: 1) hold our selves hostage over our past mess and sort of stay stuck in the same place because we don’t feel good enough; or 2) we pretend that they don’t exist and try to rationalize it away with looking good on the inside but still feeling a little jacked up on the inside.
I was reading the Bible the other day and John 3:18 in the Amplified version stuck out:
He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation—he incurs no damnation];
This has been a struggle for me quite honestly. I’m guessing I am not the only one, but I have a deep-rooted desire to do what is right and to live right. When I fall short of what I know to be right…here comes the thoughts:
“You shouldn’t have said that….you should did this….you know you were supposed to…”
And the list goes on.
Condemnation: the expression of very strong disapproval; censure; criticism; reproof; denunciation; vilification; to express an unfavorable or adverse judgment on; to pronounce to be guilty; sentence to punishment.
Self-condemnation is the blaming of oneself. Let’s look at some signs that you may be caught up in subtle and tricky self-condemnation:
- Feelings of guilt all the time
- Feeling like you might not even be saved
- Confessing and confessing, Praying and asking for forgiveness for the same thing over and over but still feeling guilt and torment.
- Being too hard on self
- Lots of self-effort trying to look good, say the right thing, do the right thing, look good on social media, flossing & fronting to appear put together.
- Stewing & brewing over what you did wrong in a situation for an exorbitant amount of time.
- Acutely aware of all of the ways you fall short
- Always being reminded of where you have not yet “arrived”
- Every area in your life where you feel unqualified and not good enough to serve God (because of your past or current situation) is amplified and magnified.
- Social media can exacerbate this with the spirit of comparison and competition
- Feelings of depression, oppression and shame
- Living under a cloud of regret and blaming self.
- Feeling inferiority, inadequate, not enough, and unworthy
- Feeling like God doesn’t love you.
- Feeling like nobody wants you, no one really cares/is thinking of you, and no one will love you and so forth
Probing Questions to prayerfully ponder as you look at your life:
- How can anyone walk in purpose, have healthy relationships, and live a truly productive, authentic life for God condemning themselves?
- Do you think Christ died on the cross for us to walk around believing and living like this? Is this the abundant life that we are to live?
- Does it make logical sense that God takes pleasure out of you feeling guilty all of the time?
- How much use are you to the Kingdom of God, your family, the people who are in need of your voice, your gift if you are bound up feeling guilty and condemned?
And the last question….
Who or what is the only entity that would love for you to stay in a state of perpetual low level guilt, shame and condemnation all of the time? (Take a wild guess.)
The old snaggle-tooth devil.
Yep. It’s time to break FREE! God is not holding what happened against you. You are. How? By believing snaggle-tooth’s lies and entertaining these thoughts and feelings. God is not the one causing this and it is not holy or godly to beat yourself up. It is actually quite contrary to His grace.
Overwhelming shame, guilt and condemnation comes from the Enemy of Your Soul:
- Revelation 12:10 – He is an accuser.
- 1 Peter 5:8 – He roams about seeking whom he may devour.
- John 8:44 – He is the father of lies.
If you are struggling with feeling guilty and condemned all the time here are five quick keys to remember and apply when those lies, the thoughts and the feelings start coming.
- Become of aware of what is going on. When those thoughts and feelings show up about something you have already genuinely repented and let go of and you know you are forgiven, shut it down immediately. Stand on the Word. In Romans 8:1 we read that there is NO condemnation for those who are in Christ, who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
- Know the difference between true conviction and devilish condemnation. When God convicts, you feel the disappointment, something is off in your spirit and He works in your heart to nudge you to repent. God does not bring the guilt, the shame, depression, obsessive thoughts, torment, and unworthiness. All of that is coming from the enemy. It is a lying spirit in diabolical opposition to the spirit of grace, love and forgiveness. It is very subtle and very deadly to your purpose and position in God.
- Know that you are a new creature and accepted in the beloved. Get rooted, grounded fixed and founded in the Love of God for yourself. You are accepted in the beloved according to Eph. 1:6. Build yourself up with scriptures, prayer and other books to build and edify your self-image, esteem and worthiness. The lower your self-esteem and sense of personal worthiness the more prone and predisposed you will be to feeling guilty and condemned for every mistake. Remember that you are new in Christ. This means letting go of what you did in the past when you were ignorant, unaware, hard-headed and doing what you wanted to do. To walk in God’s purpose, you must let go of what you did wrong. God did. Remember, He is not holding it against you. He says in Hebrews 10:17 that He remembers your sins no more. How come you keep holding on to what you did in 2012?
- Acknowledge that you are imperfect and will still make mistakes. As long as you are a human being living on this earth you will make mistakes. You are still growing, healing, learning and developing. As we continue to grow, we will slip up. Psalm 37:22-24 states that the steps of a good man (or good woman) are ordered by the Lord and He delights in his way…though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down for the Lord upholds him…The issue is not whether or not you will fall, because at some point you will. The issue is whether or not you will allow the Lord to uphold you or will you allow the lies of the enemy to keep you bogged down in guilt and condemnation.
- Keep a short, clean slate with God. When you do feel convicted or get that little sense that you said/did something against what you know is right, it is best to immediately and quickly ask for forgiveness. If it sits too long and you try to gloss over it, sweep it under the rug, pretend it is okay, justify/rationalize, the initial conviction can turn into condemnation, which is a steep price to pay for unresolved or un-confessed sin.
For me the biggest revelation on condemnation is this: As long as I am living under condemnation, it is more difficult to heal the issues of my heart and receive grace. Why? Because condemnation, judgment and criticism from others and from myself creates the fear of being rejected, left alone and ashamed.
When condemnation is removed out of the picture, I can receive correction, healing and conviction from God while knowing that I am still loved and okay. I can receive correction and wisdom from those qualified to speak into my life and who have my best interests at heart without fear of rejection and being condemned, judged or talked about.
This is why so many of us stay underdeveloped and immature. We are emotionally weak because of the guilt and condemnation. Then the minute someone says something in love to correct or help us, we feel so condemned and rejected. We never grow past it, isolate from the very ones God sent to take us to the next level and then wonder why we can’t move forward.
This is what makes being delivered from condemnation in any form or fashion so profound. It enables the full operation of grace to manifest in our lives in the deepest way possible.
I encourage you today to look deeply and begin to become aware of the subtle signs that the cloud of condemnation may be hanging over your life. Become aware of that endless, negative, accusatory mind chatter that forever reminds you every day of every shortcoming. Ask for healing and revelation.
And the next time you find yourself asking God forgiveness for something again….remember – God forgave you the first time you asked. Let it go.
Until next time,