I used to struggle with self-condemnation. Many times on my race of faith, I would stumble. Even though my heart is for God, my sin nature gets in the way and causes my feet to trip. However, instead of getting up, dusting myself off and continuing my run, I would sit where I had fallen and sulk.
I‘d fret over my stupid mistake. I would drive the screwdriver of shame just a little deeper. I would self-analyze every inch of my fall on instant replay, watching it over and over again. All the while the race moves on, and I’m still sitting in the middle of the track in self-defeat.
The Holy Spirit has exposed the selfish default setting of my human nature. I know that sin will always be a part of my life; though, hopefully, its grip will loosen as I become more like Jesus. So the fact that I will stumble should not be a surprise anymore.
I finally realized the problem isn’t that I stumble; the problem is that I get stuck in the stumble.
God has shown me something beautiful that has given me the ability to stumble gracefully. One afternoon, my family and I were walking through a plant nursery. It had rained earlier that morning, so there were many dips in the ground filled with muddy water. I walked with my daughter and pointed out all the mud-laden holes, so she could avoid stepping in them.
The Holy Spirit whispered to me, “That’s why I convict you of sin. I’m not condemning you. I’m pointing out the potholes, so you can avoid stepping in them.”
Jesus came to this world not to condemn us, but to save us from the traps of the Enemy. Conviction should not carry a sting, because Jesus took that sting upon Himself on the cross. We no longer have to bear the weight of condemnation, because we have been made righteous through Jesus Christ.
The courts of heaven declare us forgiven of all wrong. Jesus sealed the covenant of our righteousness with His blood. So when the Holy Spirit convicts us, we should not feel shame. Instead, we should feel the love of Jesus overflowing from the cross. Jesus was broken by sin, so we could be healed by grace.
So when the Holy Spirit points out a sin in my life, I no longer allow guilt to claim dominance over me. I push past my pride and enjoy the peace that humility and thanksgiving provide. I reach for Christ’s love, pick myself up, dust myself off and run my race in the freedom of grace!
Questions: Have you allowed yourself to maintain a spirit of guilt, shame and condmentation? Did you know that Jesus’ love ALWAYS has the final word? How can you thank God today for pointing out those potholes of sin in your life?
“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5.21 NIV).
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