HOW TO END SELF-CONDEMNATION
Are you hard on yourself? That may be a good thing but it may be a bad thing. If you push yourself to be better in healthy ways, keep it up! But if you tend to compare yourself to others, or you feel like you’re not as far along in life as you’d like and you condemn yourself, stop it! I have good news for you! In this article, I’ll show you how to be free from self-judgment and condemnation.
Condemnation means: a damnatory sentence, punishment
Condemnation is rightfully expected if someone is guilty of something. In our court system, we go to trial, evidence is examined, a verdict is made, and if it’s a guilty verdict, the punishment is passed down from the judge. That punishment is the condemnation.
Regarding our standing before God, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. In modern terms, there is no punishment for those who are in Christ Jesus. Why? Jesus was punished in our place. As the word says, he took the penalty for the breaking of the law in himself, “he who knew no sin became sin so we could become righteous.”
Praise God!! Thank you Jesus!! Can I get an Amen!!
Now, it would be nice if your inner man knew that. Meaning, it would be nice if you would stop punishing yourself for your mistakes. Jesus has already taken the penalty for your sin, it’s time to let it go. In fact, as you keep beating yourself up for it, you’re actually reinforcing its power in your life. When you hold your sin against yourself, you’re empowering those destructive behaviors. Why? Because the strength of sin is the law.
By no means should you continue in sin that grace may abound. You should expect God’s grace to transform your desires and attitudes, but you can stop punishing yourself for your mistakes. God isn’t holding them against you, you shouldn’t either.
Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24
PRECIOUS IN HIS SIGHT
Do you feel precious in God’s sight? If you said yes, how about the deepest, darkest parts of you…do you feel precious to God in the hidden man of your heart?
1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward--arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel-- 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
The deepest parts of your being are precious to God, who you really are is valuable to God, no matter what!! In the secret places of your heart, God is not holding your failures against you. So let the deep places be beautiful, you are free to allow his value for you to shape the most base aspects of your being.
When you judge yourself, do you judge based on your actions or on Jesus’ actions on your behalf?
For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit 1 Peter 3:18
THE WAY FORWARD
Here’s a good strategy to employ if you are hard on yourself. This is mind renewal instruction, designed to show you how to let go of the past and live in your new creation identity, that is now holy and righteous.
Ephesians 4:21 Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, 22 throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. 23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. 24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy. NLT
Keep in mind that you put on the new man from within. You are not tasked with seeking righteousness and holiness outwardly through ritual or obedience, it’s who you are. You already own the apparel, the robe of righteousness is in the closet of your heart, reach in and put it on. Put it on in your mind and feel it drape over you in your actions, attitudes and choices…to the glory of God!
PUT IT INTO PRACTICE
If your heart is condemning you, if you want to end the cycle of self-condemnation that drives the emotions of repetitive sin, here’s what you do. Read this passage, then I’ll comment.
1 John 3:14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. 15 Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him. 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. 19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God 22 and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. 23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. 24 The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.
I’ll sum up this passage in light of our pursuit to end self-condemnation. If your heart is condemning you, it’s because you’re not loving God and people. The only way to love God is to first experience his love for you, daily. You know his love for you by being rooted in the fact the Jesus laid down his life for you. Meditating on the willing sacrifice of Jesus should be very moving in your heart. If it isn’t, I want to encourage you to take some time to meditate on Jesus’ choice to lay down his life for you.
Put yourself in a heart posture before him where you expect to be moved by his act of love toward you. You may not see the Heavens split open, see angels and hear the audible voice of God, but you may feel a deep sense of thankfulness for him. You may also see his value for you as you ponder the obedience of Jesus upon the cross on your behalf.
This passage tells us that if we are rooted in the fact that Jesus laid down his life for us, we will love God and people. Here’s the secret, it will also cause you to love you.
You can love you because God loves you! In the deepest places of your heart, in the areas you keep hidden away from everyone, in the hidden man of the heart, you are precious in God’s sight. It’s time to stop judging yourself, it’s time to stop punishing yourself, and allow the hidden man of your heart to be free!!