So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 NLT
Hi, my name is Micah, and I have a critical spirit.
This spirit has developed in me from a deep sense of unworthiness coupled with the belief that I could perform for my worth.
Starting at a young age, striving for worth turned into a critical inner voice because I could never measure up. And, of course, the Enemy of my soul was more than happy to partner with this critical spirit to heap shame on me without me even being aware. It is a vicious cycle that I find myself in often.
I recently made quite a surprising blunder with a group of women from my church. The days following the lunch plagued me with both the hurt I experienced and shame for the hurt I caused. I tried to do all the things I have learned to do over the years following Jesus. I called my mentor to help me sort out my myriad of challenging feelings. I walked, albeit clunkily, through forgiveness for the hurt I experienced. And I even cast my hurt feelings back to Jesus, again and again, to not let bitterness take root in my heart.
But I simply could not forgive myself.
For days I wrestled with thoughts like, "how could I have done that?" And, "I am a terrible follower of Jesus." And even resignation statements like, " I should just give up this rouse that I am Christian. Apparently, I will never get it."
Indeed, I was ashamed of myself. There were a few days I even struggled to get out of bed.
But God is so good. He always catches us when we are drowning.
After several days of treading shame, a devotional dropped into my inbox focused on 1 John 3:19-20.
"Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything." 1 John 3:19-20 NLT
I was intrigued, but also still felt convicted. After all, it was my actions that were not super loving. So, I looked up a commentary using my LOGOS Bible software and read the following:
"In our desire to live lives of high moral character and good deeds toward others, we will fail. We will fall short of even our own ideals, let alone God's. When this happens, our hearts may condemn us. But we can rest in his presence, for God knows everything. He knows that we believe in Christ, that we strive to love our brothers, and that we regret falling short. God does not look only at the outer facts of imperfect love but the inner fact of having been born of God. The human heart is not the final standard. Rather, God is! God's power keeps us secure in him. God's power and steadfastness - not our own - give us security" (Holman New Testament Commentary, 1 & 2 Peter, 1,2,3 John, Jude, 1 John 3:19-20.)
Tears of reconciliation rolled down my face as I let God's love roll over my heart's condemnation. It was so clear that I added my perfectionist-performer tendencies to my Christian walk. As though I could be the perfect Christian and never blunder. But the truth is I will, just like everyone else. And we all deserve the mercy that Jesus's blood bought us.
His blood covers my blunders, and His mercy keeps me secure in Him. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, but we must fight with this TRUTH.
We must take our guilt, repent, and then fight our bent to not receive God's forgiveness. We must fight our flesh partnering with the accuser to create shame that God never intends us to carry. We have to speak TRUTH over our critical spirits, and the enemies lie simultaneously. Even when we know we did something wrong, there is no condemnation for us. The case is closed by the blood of Jesus. For you and for me.
So then, let's fight the lies with truth and let the truth set us free.
Our Father, you are so good. Your mercy is so incredible it is hard to comprehend. But let us receive your forgiveness fully. It is our past, current, and future blunders that Jesus died for. And because of Jesus, there is no condemnation for us. Help us receive that truth. Help us believe that truth. Help us be set free. In Jesus's name, Amen.
It is Written - Battlecard & Phone Screen - No Condemnation
For those struggling to receive forgiveness for yourself.
Or if you have heard any of these lies running through your thoughts:
You should be ashamed of yourself. How could you do something like that?
You should be a better Christian by now. You may as well give up.
Don't you think God is disappointed in you? I mean, you know better. Or at least you should.