God is not holding what happened against you. You are.

 

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];

No rejection.

No condemnation.

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:

  1. How can anyone walk in purpose, have healthy relationships, and live a truly productive, authentic life for God condemning themselves?
  2. 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?
  3. Does it make logical sense that God takes pleasure out of you feeling guilty all of the time?
  4. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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,

Tonika Maria

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Try It Again.

You know, that little tug at your heart is still there. It hasn’t gone anywhere.  In spite of all that you have gone through, you still feel that gentle nudge to try it again.

Your “it” may be that business idea. Or that non-profit.  Writing that book.  Starting that blog. Joining a network marketing type of business.  Going back to school.  Starting that ministry.  Signing up to serve in a ministry or community service.

Or your “it” could be opening your heart to love again.

Whatever your “it” is, it is not too late and you can try again!  We tend to overthink and cause suffering for ourselves.

Also, we are eternally preoccupied with what “THEY” will think.  More often than not, we want it to be easy and really don’t want to actually do the WORK and put forth the effort and time it will take, either. Especially if we have tried before and we feel like we failed.

So we make excuses and stifle that little tug in our hearts.

We languish and suffer when we see other people taking the leap and doing the same thing we know we are to be doing.  We don’t understand why watching them makes us feel depressed. It is not “THEM”, it’s us.   When we are not really doing what we are supposed to be doing and when we see someone else doing the same thing, it stirs up insecurities.

So instead of looking and watching others, I encourage you to try it again.  This time with more wisdom and this time with greater faith.

Remember, it’s not over and it’s not too late!

Whatever mistake, shame, embarrassment from the past that you are struggling with, I encourage you to:

1) Receive God’s grace to fill in the gaps and insufficiencies;

2) Receive forgiveness of your mistakes;

3) Forgive yourself and stop ruminating about it;

4) Believe God for restoration and redemption of the years that have been lost (Joel 2:25) and lastly;

5) Try It Again!

What is it God is whispering for you do try again?

P.S. —- a little gift for you here – http://www.tonikabreeden.com/download/get-out-of-that-dead-end-relationship-now-ch-1-3/ – the first three chapters of my book, Get out of that Dead-End Relationship NOW! After having ended a bad relationship, I too, had to pick up the pieces and live again. So can you!

Receive Forgiveness

Yes. You.  I’m not talking about you forgiving the one or ones who have done you wrong.

I’m talking about you finally forgiving you.  Letting yourself off the hook. Giving yourself grace.  Remembering that you are a human being, prone to struggle, error and sin.

I’m talking about finally fully receiving the redemption and restoration that Christ died to give you.

Question: If you have genuinely turned from the old way of doing, being and thinking (aka repentance) and are actively working with God for restoration, healing and forward momentum in your life then why are you continuing to hold back a little? Why?

Every time we allow the lingering old residue thoughts of guilt and shame over what happened, we slowly corrode away our self-esteem.

Every time we engage in comparison and subtle competition because of lingering insecurities and unprocessed pain, we diminish ourselves.

Every time we allow our minds to ruminate and re-hash over all of the things we suffered because of our decisions, the hurt we may have inadvertently caused others, the opportunities and blessings we forfeited when we made poor choices, we unconsciously create an unhealthy place for our own hearts.

How can our hearts thrive in a situation where we beat ourselves up with the past?  How can my heart as a woman thrive if I am in a place of continual regret?  How can my heart be a safe place for other people (especially if I plan to be married, or if I already am, or if I have a family) if it is not safe for me first?

Since when did subtle, self-inflicted punishment help move us forward in our purpose and destiny?  The last time I checked, self-inflicted silent punishment keeps us stuck and pretending to be okay with where we are when we are really not. We self-sabotage and punish ourselves because of:

  1. Shame. I love this quote by Shannon Evette – “Shame will cause you to live small, date small and be small.” Enough said.
  2. False Guilt. There is a difference between a healthy sense of being convicted when you do something wrong versus walking around feeling guilty for something that you know you have already asked forgiveness for and it is over already. Or in some cases feeling guilty about situations and circumstances beyond your control.  As long as you feel guilty, subconsciously you are going to do things to punish yourself, such as procrastinating, not fully showing up, hiding, making excuses, falling off the wagon, etc.
  3. Fear and Unworthiness. Unworthiness says I am unworthy to receive full forgiveness and give myself permission to live again, therefore I will settle.  As a result of settling, fear sets in and says because I have wasted so much time in foolishness and drama, I must now hurry up and do something because I may not have a chance at love again. Therefore, I am going to rush and settle into a known situation that is not God’s best for me.  I don’t believe I am worthy to receive God’s best, therefore I don’t have the patience to wait, so I will settle for who or what comes up.
  4. Pride. To receive from God what He has so freely given is an act of humility.  There is no working, sweating, proving and performing. It is admitting that you can’t fix yourself. It literally means that we must deeply receive from Him without trying to work up and muster up some type of good behavior to pay for it.  We are too prideful and want to work for God’s approval.  Remember, you were approved when you accepted Christ not based on anything you have ever done.

Allowing yourself to fully receive from God is the first step to overcoming the dead-end dynamic of shame, guilt, fear and unworthiness.  When we don’t fully receive what Christ died to give, we are in essence saying that His sacrifice is not good enough for us.  It is like a slap in the face to the Creator. He so freely gave so that we could be full and free, but we still walk around deliberately choosing to stay bound.  How sad!

I exhort you today, to no longer block the blessing of receiving forgiveness.  Forgive yourself so that you can be free.

Lay aside the pride, the shame, the unworthiness, the settling, the impatience and learn to sit, be settled and receive full forgiveness of EVERYTHING from God and from yourself!!

In Him,

TB