Inside: how to let go of condemnation
You make a misstep, and it not-so-silently judges you.
You fall short, and it tells you you’ve disqualified yourself.
You may even be the one who grace can’t actually change.
You should be ashamed.
You should hide.
You are wrong and dirty and unworthy.
Your insides are ugly, and if the world knew the truth…
Feelings of condemnation are such tricky things to get rid of, and they plague so many of us. When condemnation comes, there’s a heaviness. A weight in our chest. A sinking dread in our gut.
This isn’t how it’s meant to look.
Don’t get me wrong–God corrects us. He doesn’t leave us in sin. But the trouble comes when we begin to associate correction with condemnation. It’s something I also talk about in this post:
What Repentance is and is not
Condemnation is something that’s been ingrained into many of us (without actually naming it), making it difficult to let go. Some of us may have even been taught that those condemning feelings are essential to true repentance. Which is 100% FALSE. But the Word does teach us the maturity of acknowledging our wrongdoing and repenting.
One of the issues is that much of the church doesn’t explain what repentance actually is.
It means “to turn.” When we repent, we’re not begging forgiveness in the sense that it’s something we may not get (because His Word promises He freely gives). We’re changing our minds. We’re turning away from the sin and toward God–more on that in a minute.
I’m not saying that asking forgiveness is a bad thing. It’s good and pure and humble. But there’s a distinct difference between the way a son or daughter humbly asks forgiveness from a loving Father and the way a slave begs forgiveness from their tormentor. God is not our tormentor.
But condemnation can be if we let it. We are no longer slaves but sons and daughters of God. That thought alone should change our posture.There's a distinct difference in the way a son or daughter humbly asks forgiveness from a parent and the way a slave begs forgiveness from their tormentor. We're not slaves but sons and daughters.Click To Tweet
Why Letting Go of Condemnation is Important
There are 2 big reasons why we really need to get out from under the weight of condemnation.
First, it’s hard to keep our hearts open to correction when we’re feeling condemnation. Condemnation breeds shame, and shame tells us to hide. Now can we actually “hide” from God? No. But we can close off our hearts to His voice of correction because it’s too painful to look at our shortcomings.
Second, the voice of condemnation confuses our hearts and makes it harder for us to hear the voice of our Father. Since many of us picked up condemnation in church (well-meaning churches), we may even associate the condemning voice with God. We think that when we hear those stinging remarks, they’re because we deserve them. Because God Himself is telling us how terrible we are.
THAT COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.
That’s why getting into scripture and renewing our minds to it is so necessary.
Focus less on the sin and more on the Son
Focusing on our problems magnifies them. But God is bigger! Focusing on Him transforms us.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
That veil that was taken away? It was put there because of our shortcomings.
But as Jesus’ bride, He unveiled us. Now as we look into His glory, we are transformed so we look more like Him.
The Holy Spirit is the change within us. Our part is to focus on God and submit to His Spirit. To allow His will to be done in us and through us.
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:3-4 (NKJV)
We have this tendency to look at our problems. To pick at what’s wrong within us. But the Word is clear: the Son is bigger than sin. And the only way to truly be transformed is to die to ourselves and be filled with Him. He made a new identity for us. But it’s our choice whether we put it on or keep our old rags.
Verses to Renew Your Mind
The best way to silence condemnation and replace it with the truth is to renew our minds. We do that by continually abiding in the Word of God.
Here are a few verses to help settle in your heart that condemnation is not something God is placing on you but something He has fully freed you from:
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.
He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
For whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.
1 John 3:20
Whenever condemnation tries to pop into your heart, repeat the verse that brings you the most peace and silences the critical voice.
Should we just go on sinning?
It’s easy to make the mental leap: if there’s no condemnation for our sin, does that mean we can do whatever we want?
No. And here’s why:
1. There are consequences for sin.
Sin causes not only worldly consequences but also veils our hearts to truth, making it harder for us to hear the voice of God (and also hard for us to see His goodness). It clogs our spiritual ears and slowly blinds our spiritual eyes.
2. The love of God leads us to repentance.
When we understand God’s love for us, we’ll want to do the things He designed us for. And none of those include sin. Though He uses our past circumstances, that doesn’t mean He wants us to continue living in sin just to create more mess-ups for Him to show up in. He has far greater things for us than what we can imagine when we’re living on the whims of our flesh.
3. There’s more to life than seeing what we can get away with.
If we’re focused on doing what our flesh wants, it shows we’re kind of missing the point. Life is better without sin. God’s design is perfect and leads to the most joy and fulfillment we’ll ever find.
So who would WANT to go on sinning when they know the truth?
If you’re living under condemnation, know that you don’t have to. Repent so your heart feels free, but remember that condemnation is NEVER from God. His correction is out of love.
Until next time.
New here? Get started on this page!
Sharing is caring! Like this post from Planting Vineyards? Pass it along with the social share buttons above & below!