Damned If You Do…?


no-condemnationMy grandsons were at the house this past weekend enjoying a good romp and mess making opportunity (goes with the territory!).  Two year-old Tristan, formerly playing quietly with the iPad on the couch, suddenly launched it onto to the floor!  So I said, “Hey Tristan, you can’t throw the iPad on the floor!  You are going to break it!”  And he exclaimed, before I was even finished chastising him, “I sorry Pampa!”  But I wasn’t finished yet as I added, “You can’t do that Tristan because you are going to break it and it costs a lot of money!”  Again he offered, before I was even done yet again, “I sorry Pampa, okay?”

You see, young Tristan didn’t want the condemnation that goes with feeling like he had done something wrong.  And in the wisdom of a two-year, figured the best response was to be sorry as quickly as possible to end that “feeling bad” thing.  What a lesson for us infinitely wiser adults, huh?  Feeling bad about ourselves; condemning ourselves; thinking bad things about ourselves is one of the greatest life-suckers that confronts the human race!  The best prescription for defeating a man (or a woman or a child) is to talk them into beating their own selves up from the inside out.  (Similar to getting a person addicted to drugs then watching them systematically destroy themselves!)  So what is behind that insidious tendency?  Where does it come from?  Is it something that God employs to make us better people?  Is there an actual benefit to it that we may not be aware of yet?

To understand condemnation you have to start with its definition.  To condemn means to pass judgment against.  It means to find guilt and its associated punishment (i.e. condemned to death).  It comes from a word that means “con – implies intense feeling” and “damn-to provide adverse judgment.”  So condemning yourself means that you are judging yourself and finding yourself coming up short.  And worse, your judgment of yourself anticipates punishment (fear) which works most effectively to strengthen the cycle.  So here’s a fun thought to ponder.  Have you ever met anyone that did better; performed better; or made better choices following an unhealthy dose of being made to feel bad?  My guess is probably not, right?  When you are in a constant state of evaluating your own behavior, or measuring yourself against other people, or finding the wrong in everything you say and do, you are living in a state of defeat.  You are actually made weaker by that process, not stronger.  And weak people tend to do worse and worse, thus the cycle continues…

So, here’s another fun thought?  Do you suppose that it is God that is condemning you?  Is it plausible to you that God, who is infinite in wisdom and love chooses to take the “beat them into submission” approach to influence your choices?  I would say emphatically, hell no! – but that would be swearing (:-))…  God, the really smart one, knew that you and I would be susceptible to feeling bad when our thoughts or behaviors came up short and in so knowing, devised a master plan that would forever free mankind from that vicious cycle.  His master plan was (and is) to have a son with no sin in his blood that would have an opportunity to live his life perfectly, without ever sinning if he so chose to do so.  And then, if His son was successful, His son could function as the savior of mankind, forever freeing man from the consequences of sin by becoming the perfect substitute and sacrifice for man.  That perfect plan happened, my friends, and by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior from sin, you and I will never come into condemnation again (as far as God is concerned).  Read the Bible – I didn’t make this stuff up.  haha

So where then does that condemnation come from?  It comes from the enemy of mankind, the adversary, who uses what you don’t know against you.  For example, if your church teaches you that you have to obey this command or follow that law or do these behaviors, for God to love, bless and protect you, then that church has unknowingly sold you a lie.  Easssy now, stay with me here.  If Jesus Christ paid the full price for all of your sins, which ones are left for you to pay for?  Seems to me that we have already been made perfect in God’s eyes, so why all the gut wrenching and fear?  The gut wrenching and fear come from that same enemy…  It’s a trick man!  God made it so that it is no longer all about you (what you do, did or don’t do) and instead made all about Him; what He did for you!  And you wonder why I love Him so… 🙂  Just because someone claims to speak for God or is sincere doesn’t guarantee you anything at all.  Used car salesmen are often very sincere…

So here is the startling reality!  God doesn’t want you to live under all that bondage.  God doesn’t want you cataloging what’s wrong with you all the time.  God doesn’t want you to even judge yourself (see Apostle Paul in Bible).  Get off your own back and get away from those shackles that bind you.  You will never, ever, ever be able to truly and freely believe God to get the things you need in life until you completely and thoroughly kill off all that insidious condemnation!

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.  Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.  And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him… I John 3:20-22

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t?  No!  God doesn’t damn anybody and neither do I…  Live in the freedom that God prepared for you and stop listening to that ol’ bird that’s always on your back!  It aint about you man…it’s about God!

Just some good thoughts…

 

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