Condemnation is one of those feelings that is hard to talk about. We don’t like it when people condemn us and we feel horrible when we condemn ourselves. I think the thing that makes it so difficult for us to talk about is that most of the time, it causes us to reflect on something we are not proud of. Whether it was a lie that we told to cover ourselves, or something we did that we hope no one ever finds out; what lies behind condemnation are feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment.
Before my sister, Karina, passed we were reminiscing about things we did when we were kids. She reminded me how I use to trick her into taking responsibility for things that I had done that would have caused me to be in trouble. Whether it was not washing dishes or not cleaning up our room, I could always convince her to tell my mom that it was her fault. Karina would take the blame AND the punishment that went along with it, while I remained the “Golden Child”.
I immediately asked Karina to forgive me, and of course, she said, “Yes Sissy!”
As Karina recounted the story, waves upon waves of guilt and shame began to sweep over me. How could I have been so mean to my sister? What kind of person does that...really? At first, I tried to justify some of it; by telling myself that it was simply because we were kids that this happened, but the more I thought about it, I knew that wasn’t the truth. I began to remember other things that I have done and said as an adult that I am just not proud of. I thought to myself, oh Lord, how can I be this terrible, awful, horrible person...”No, strike that!” I heard the Holy Spirit say, “That’s the person you...WERE!”
The Bible tells us two things...
1. that there is NOW NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1) and
2. To let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think (Romans 12:2).
Now that I am in Christ Jesus, I can come out of condemnation which keeps me stuck in the mess of me and move to transformation by changing the way I think.
When we sit in condemnation, whether it’s about ourselves or others, the focus is clearly on YOU! We are in our feelings...feeling sorry for ourselves, feeling guilty, feeling ashamed...feeling...feeling...feeling. But, when we move to transformation, we become mindful and focused on what the Word of God says about who we are!!
Condemnation is the enemy’s trick to keep us stuck in our feelings and bad thoughts about ourselves...Transformation gives us hope that even though we messed up, that God still loves us...flaws and all. Now that’s something to be proud of!
So now when my mind wants to wander down the path of regret, up the mountain of guilt and to the corner of embarrassment and shame...I stop...I thank God for keeping me when I was acting a FOOL!...And I thank Him for washing me in His Word daily and I give Him praise for me being (still happening) transformed into His image and likeness.