1John 2:2 states, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” In this verse we note Christ died not only for us Christians but for everyone. The sins of non-Christians has been paid for, but they perish because they do not accept. What a shame! How different their eternal outcome would be if only they had uttered “I accept.”
We accessed Christ’s power to save with the words “I accept.” But what power is out there that we haven’t claimed by saying “I accept ____________” (for instance: joy, peace, etc.)? Alternately, what negative influence do we unwittingly accept by not saying “I reject ___________” (for instance: negative thoughts, depression, etc.)? Start accessing Christ’s power to accept and reject thoughts and attitudes right now. Like Christ’s payment for our sins, it is out there waiting to be claimed BY YOU. Just give it a try the next time you are in a bad mood.
But what if what you are faced with is actually more than a just a bad mood? All Christians are sometimes confronted with negative thoughts about themselves. However, if you buckle under a constant barrage of condemning thoughts, then you may have fallen into the trap of self-condemnation. Let’s look at the Bible to understand God’s view of condemnation.
In John 8, the teachers of the law confronted Jesus with an adulterous woman. Once He convinced them to have mercy on her, He asked, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” To which she replied, “No one, sir.” Jesus then declared, “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.
We can see Christ’s character with that incident. His desire is not to condemn us. And if the Savior does not condemn us, then why should we condemn ourselves?
I can think of several possible outcomes for this woman. 1) She stopped sinning and lived in gratitude toward Jesus and told lots of people about Him, 2) She continued her life of sin thinking Jesus had prevented her from getting punished in the future, or 3) She stopped sinning yet she was so filled with self-condemnation that she was prevented from living a fruitful life. I hope the adulterous woman’s outcome was the first one. Now what path have you chosen since you were saved by Jesus?
Self-condemnation turns our focus inward on ourselves and prevents our circumstance from being fruitful. Thoughts of self-condemnation could be something like: “I am not a good Christian” or “I always fail” or “I am not a good spouse, parent, etc.” Jesus loves you and has all the tools you need to help you succeed. Embrace the love He has for you and reject those self-condemning thoughts so you can live a life of gratitude and tell lots of people about your Savior Jesus.
PRAYER: Dear Lord, Give us lives of gratitude and happiness. Help us to let go of our past sins, negative thoughts, and bad attitudes. Thank You that You are our Savior. Help us to treasure all You have done for us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.
© 2015 Kim Bond
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