Does self-criticism hinder your God-given destiny? Let these 7 keys help you overcome condemnation.
The Bible says “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV
If that is true, why do we feel like God is upset with us? Why can’t we be more like Him? Why is it so hard to change our behavior?
MAYBE YOU’VE BEEN VICTIMIZED BY THE ACCUSER
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: ‘Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” Revelation 12:10. NIV
Accusation often perches on our shoulders whispering condemning thoughts to our brains. We don’t pay attention to the river of criticism flowing through our heads, but we need to.
#1: Be conscious of the negative thoughts that occupy your mind. Then tell them to leave.
“There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.” 1 Corinthians 14:10. KJV
Although the context of this verse relates to God speaking to us, the opposite is also true. Every voice influences us in either a good or a bad way. More often, we listen to the negative talk that speaks to us, whether it comes from our own thoughts or from another person.
Casting down arguments, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NKJV
Negative thoughts are like squatters settling on our land. We have authority to tell them to move out. They don’t have permission to live there.
#2: Decide to let go of blunders.
We think if we dwell on our past failures that will help us improve our behavior. Nothing could be further from the truth. God doesn’t work that way. Instead, when we fail He reminds us of how much He loves us.
Sometimes it helps to picture myself cutting a rope off my leg where a big rock has been tied. God has forgiven me, so I need to forgive myself.
#3: Find the positives in negative experiences.
God always hides an encouraging lesson in our messes. He makes redemption available in every situation.
Let’s look at God’s viewpoint of sin:
THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY
John 8: 2-11
Here’s the scenario:
A bunch of Pharisees and religious scholars (scribes) interrupted Jesus’ teaching in the temple and forced a woman into the middle of the court. In front of everyone they accused her of committing adultery and said she had been caught in the very act. Knowing full well that the Law of Moses required such a person to be stoned, they demanded an answer.
The whole incident smelled like a setup. Many commentaries agree that the Pharisees plotted this occurrence. Perhaps the man who committed adultery with her was in on it. After all, no one accused him of adultery!
Imagine the shame she felt as they brought her before an entire crowd. Picture the anguish on her face. Could she look anyone in the eye again? Even if she wasn’t stoned, she expected her friends and family to to shun her. Maybe she was angry because the Pharisees used her for their selfish purposes, or maybe she felt betrayed by the man who wooed her into bed. Was she sorry she committed this sin?
Jesus knew they had set a trap, not just for her, but for Him as well. If He said to stone her, they would accuse Him of cruelty. If He let her go, He would break Jewish law.
Little did anyone realize God had organized a divine setup. Jesus ignored their accusations and stooped to write in the dirt.
His response shocked the crowd. “He who is without sin cast the first stone.” One by one, they dropped their stones and left.
They had used her as a pawn in their plan to discredit Jesus. She was an object who could be discarded once they made their point. But Jesus saw a person, not a pawn. He faced her and asked, “Is there no one here to condemn you?”
Looking around, she replied, “I see no one, Lord.”
Jesus said, “Then I certainly don’t condemn you either. Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin.” John 8:10-11 TPT
Rather than condemn her, Jesus brought conviction. He challenged her to take her eyes off her past and focus on her future. She could turn from her former life and choose a life of purity because that’s how God created her.
That principle applies to us all.
#4: Recognize the difference between conviction and condemnation.
Condemnation feels heavy and hopeless. We often shoulder the weight of our failures like a 20-pound sack of potatoes. Maybe we lay them down for an hour while in church, but then we pick them up again as we walk out the door. Conviction feels painful but lightens our load, as if a surgeon had just removed a tumor. Condemnation tells us to focus on our failures. Conviction gives us hope for our future.
#5: Cultivate relationships with positive people.
We can’t always remove ourselves from toxic people, but we can set boundaries and seek out relationships with people who affirm us. Positive words are like vitamins to the soul. Positive people refresh us like water.
#6: Spend time with Jesus. Worship. Pray. Read His Words of love to you.
Romans 8:1-2 “There is no condemnation now for those who live in union with Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit, which brings us life in union with Christ Jesus, has set me free from the law of sin and death.” GNB
I like the word “union”in the GNB translation. We are in union with Christ Jesus, but we often struggle to believe that.
When we spend time in His Presence, we cultivate union with Him. Time spent with Jesus fuels the destiny to which He calls us.
#7: Look forward toward your destiny and don’t look back.
God wants us to look at where we’re going, not where we’ve been.
“As for us, we have all of these great witnesses who encircle us like clouds. So we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.” Hebrews 12:1 TPT
We have spiritual cheerleaders who encourage us to run the race Jesus gave us. We can fulfill the destiny God planned!
FIND OUT MORE
Would you like to learn more about the difference between conviction and condemnation? Here’s an excellent article: Why Do I feel So Guilty?
This has been the third blog in the series: Why Can’t I hear you God? Did you miss the first two? No worries! Access them here: