Understanding how to forgive is one of the most essential truths we must learn. We learn that we must forgive others– if we want forgiveness for our own sins. But we jump right into it when we pass judgement on ourselves. This self-condemnation is insidious and very dark. And yet incredibly, it is also quite prevalent in the Church.
We determine that we are guilty. It doesn’t take a lot of imagination, as the sin is everywhere, it overwhelms us. It meshes into us, and weaves into our very being. We soon come to the point where we can no longer tell the difference between what is our sin, and our personality.
If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
1 John 3:20, NIV
Examining our own hearts, we start by probing the depth of our own evil. There is now little room for any kind of self-deception– for we understand our darkness in depth. It is at this crucial point when God steps forward and exercises His authority. His understanding is complete. He knows us inside and out. He sees everything. We can do nothing cosmetically to “improve the corpse.” He sees us without any ‘make-up’.
When we commence judging ourselves, it may seem appropriate and timely. And certainly, we must respond to the Holy Spirit’s conviction. But this is different! This is unbelief of God’s Word, that rapidly becomes foul and fleshly, and opens the doors to despondency and despair.
But soon the ‘dark ones’ come, and the blackness becomes insurmountable. We mournfully provide the chains, which they gleefully use on us. Self-condemnation twists us and we become malformed and misshapen spiritually.
Guilt is a warning light that says something is wrong. Yet when it persists too long, it energizes Satan’s lies and strangulates spiritual growth.
“For innumerable evils have compassed me about; my iniquities have taken such hold on me that I am not able to look up. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart has failed me and forsaken me.”
Psalm 40:12, Amplified
When we look into the mirror, what do we see? Are we besieged and battered by our sin? I’m grieved for the many believers are walking as ‘zombie Christian lives’, more dead than alive, with little hope for any kind of escape. Jesus comes to bring us to life.
Brother, sister– Jesus has come to release you completely. He completely understands your situation. He is not surprised by your evil. Your brazen, and dedicated love for your sin does not shock Him.
“But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
1 John 1:9, NLT
A Thought For the Truly Desperate:
“Here’s how to beat condemnation. Confess your sin to God. Then believe in Him. Exercise the gift of faith that God has given you to believe that Jesus died for the very sins you’re being condemned for. The punishment He received was for you. His resurrection is proof that God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice. The sins of your past and the sin you just committed were all atoned for; you need carry their weight no more.”