There is a wonderful Bible verse celebrating our freedom from all condemnation.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1
Many people carry feelings of guilt, shame and condemnation and have to be set free from those weights. This lovely truth from the Apostle Paul has been a help to multitudes, ridding condemnation from their lives.
One reason ‘condemnation’ is such a problem, including for many Christians is that the devil is an accuser.
“I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, strength and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.” Revelation 12:10
Note that the devil is quite persistent at accusing us, doing it “day and night”. So it’s no wonder people come under condemnation, guilt, shame and the like.
The enemy loves to use people around us to accuse us, including parents, siblings and friends. Sadly upsets and hurtful words are common among close connections. We may think those things are of little effect, but they are powerful.
Hurtful words are such a common thing that from ancient times we have had responses to them, such as the ancient rhyme, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
The truth is that words can be deeply hurtful and even bring curse on people.
“Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it will eat its fruit.” Proverbs 18:21
“Their tongue is an arrow that is fired. It speaks deceit.” Jeremiah 9:8
Sadly it is not uncommon for people to be raised in families where they are cursed by words from parents and relatives. People speak out what is in their heart, so when they are condemned, insecure, rejected and so on, they speak words of rejection, accusation, hurt and shame, without even thinking about it.
“Out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” Luke 6:45
“O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matthew 12:34
I recall the example given by friends many years ago of a father with accusation issues. He bumped a bottle of milk while reaching for something at the dinner table. Rather than accept his own fault, he demanded, “Who put that there?” He made his children feel guilty for his own error. He was an ‘accuser’. Thus he cultivated ‘condemnation’ in his children.
The classic example is the addicted person who desperately wants a drink, or whatever they lust for. They accuse or blame someone around them for their actions, such as their spouse. “You’ve upset me now, so I’m going to go and have a drink.” Or, “I’ve tried to make it work with you, but you’re driving me to the arms of that other person.”
The accusation, “You are driving me to drink!” or “You gave me no choice!” are false accusations, dumping onto someone else blame for evil in the perpetrator.
These accusers may erupt in anger, blaming others for causing upset, then use that as excuse to serve their own lusts. Meanwhile they leave behind people who are hurting and accused, feeling responsible and condemned, when they were not responsible for the wrong choices of others, nor do they deserve to be accused or condemned.
Those raised with an alcoholic, or other addicted people probably have multiple examples of what I am talking about. But these things can occur in religious homes as well.
Often a demanding parent will blame children for their own disquiet and discomfort. Every time they are not coping, or are disappointed or angry, they end up blaming one of the children.
For example, a father or mother might be a bit worked up about something, maybe raising their voice, complaining, arguing or swearing. When a child speaks up, such as to say, “Don’t be upset”, the parent can use that as a trigger to dump even more upset feelings, accusing the child of having upset them. That is not what happened, but in the heat of the exchange the child can be left feeling responsible, blamed, accused and condemned, when they only tried to help.
Children raised in this kind of environment can go through life with a heavy sense of responsibility for everyone else’s issues. Rather than being able to leave others to their own issues, they feel as if it is up to them to try to fix people, or create circumstances where problems won’t occur again.
That’s a terrible burden to live with, because God and Christ save us, not us saving ourselves or others. We don’t have the capacity to do it. So the sense of condemnation can be deepened every time we fail to see a situation work out for the best.
You can imagine the devil’s delight when people go through life buried in that kind of condemnation and unrealistic expectation.
So, let me remind you of the wonderful truth that “There is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
Jesus paid for all our sins, failures, weakness, hopelessness, foolishness, defeat and shame. We are both forgiven and cleansed, so we stand clean before God.
“If we confess our sins God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and also to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1John 1:9
We are answerable to God, not to those who keep accusing us or putting things on us. We have to please God, not them. We can give to God all the accusations, feelings of responsibility, and the like that have been dumped on us, and then wait on God to convict and guide us. We don’t have to dance to the tune of others who want to control and blame us. We live for the glory of God, in glorious freedom that belongs to the children of God.
“Creation itself will also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Romans 8:21
Friends I call you to the salvation offered by God, through faith in Christ, being forgiven of your sins and living for God’s glory, in a life where there is No Condemnation.