So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death.
—Romans 8:1-2 (NLT)
I can live without crippling feelings of guilt and self-condemnation. Jesus paid the price for my past—my present—my future. I belong to Him. His life-giving Spirit has freed me from the power of sin. I have received His forgiveness! There is no penance I have to pay. His grace paid my debt once and for all. I owe nothing because of His grace. There is no greater love than His—that He would give His life for me.
BUT…if I condemn myself, I give condemnation permission to rule my life. I tell Jesus that His grace wasn’t enough to forgive me. My focus is on me and not the love of Jesus. If I focus continually on myself, I don't experience any peace. Instead of reaching beyond my "woundedness" to be concerned for others, my life becomes all about my failures—my fears—my pain. We all fall down and make mistakes, but we get up, brush ourselves off, and keep on going because we are forgiven.
“The power of condemnation, “Mark Rutland writes, “rests in the throne of idolatry, self-idolatry. If I condemn myself, and if I am a better, more righteous judge than God is, I am utterly condemned. The lie underneath condemnation, the lie that makes this toxin so fatal, is the lie that says, 'I cannot be forgiven because my sin is greater than the grace of God.’ That is quintessential idolatry. To think that my sin, my anything, is greater than the grace of God is to make an idol of my own wounded emotions” (Courage to Be Healed: Finding Hope to Restore Your Soul, Charisma House, 2019).
Yes, I can make an idol of my own wounded emotions. The lie that the enemy uses to wound me flourishes when I remain self-focused. The real lie, which gives power to my wounded emotions, is the one that says I’m not forgiven because my sin is greater than the loving grace of God. And that lie makes an idol of myself.
Are we tired of wearing the "me" badge? Are we tired of making more of our failures than the grace that paid for them? Do we have the courage to be healed? We choose not to worship our wounded emotions and place them on a pedestal. Instead, we worship God, who, by the power of the Holy Spirit, guides us into all truth and teaches us that there is now NO condemnation in Jesus.
© 2019 Lynn Lacher
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