WE ARE NOT CONDEMNED.

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Did you hear that? NO CONDEMNATION.

No matter what you have done. No matter how terrible, you are not condemned. If you belong to Jesus Christ, then when God looks at you, He sees purity. And if He sees purity, then He cannot condemn you because He has nothing to condemn you for.

This is probably one of the hardest Truths to believe.

As a teenager I was what I call a “serial dater.” I was that girl who had a different boyfriend every week, sometimes a few at a time that didn’t know about each other. On the outside, I acted proud of this. I loved that I knew how to wrap any boy around my finger. But on the inside, I was terribly ashamed. I was empty. I was lonely.

At the time, I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ; I wasn’t even sure that He existed. But I knew that what I was doing was wrong. I didn’t even care for these boys. I just loved that with a boyfriend, at least somebody cared for me. But then I would date them for a week & realize that they didn’t really care for me, they just wanted something from me. Thankfully, I cared enough about myself that I never gave them what they were looking for. But I still felt like I did. I still cried myself to sleep every night over the shame of even giving whatever I did give them.. going however far we even went. Sometimes I would just feel shamed I kissed a boy because I didn’t even like him. I felt guilty for leading them on out of my selfishness. My list of sins just grew longer & longer, & it tore me apart inside.

Yes, I literally wrote down everything & kept it hidden. I wrote down every single name of every boy I had ever kissed, how many times, what else we had done, EVERYTHING. Talk about condemnation! I feared someone would find that list, but for some reason I was obsessed with remembering everything. I chose to write it all down because I wanted to remember everything. I was choosing to stay covered in my shame, & to stay fearful about others finding out the real me. If only they knew all I had really done. It didn’t matter what I hadn’t done.

Thankfully when I was 18 years old, I met Jesus. His love gripped my heart & I finally threw away the pages of sins I had kept for so long. He forgave me, so I forgave myself. He freed me from the shame I felt for so long.

But even now, 12 years later, I still find myself doing the same thing sometimes. Okay, maybe I don’t keep a list of sins in my journal anymore, but I surely do keep them. It has become more of a mental note now. I choose to hold on to all the ways I wrong people. I choose not to forget the pain I’ve caused others. I choose to dwell in feelings of shame. And in all of this, I am the one condemning myself. I am the one labeling myself as a failure, a cheater, & a liar. In all of this self-condemnation, I am forgetting that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ! NO CONDEMNATION! NONE!

Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”

In my darkest moments as a follower of Christ, I looked up one day at a cross hanging on a wall at a store where I worked. Literally, in one tiny blip in time, the Lord reminded me of this very Truth, in a way that I will never forget:

Remember that list of sins you’ve been collecting? I knew it. All the ways you’ve hurt other people, all the ways you’ve hurt yourself, all the way you’ve hurt me: I knew it all. I took my place on that cross already fully aware of every sinful bone in your body. Nothing surprises me. Nothing fills me with regret. Nothing will ever make me change my mind. I loved you then, & I love you still. You are my Beloved Daughter, whom I’ve forgiven, whom I cherish, whom I’ve washed as white as snow. There is no condemnation for those who belong to me, & Beloved, you are mine.

When Christ hung from that cross, He stared you straight in the face & said “this is for you, my child.”

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