The antidote to poisonous thinking of guilt and condemnation

Christians can feel needless guilt, especially when they struggle to overcome a stronghold sin in their lives. Satan loves convincing them they can never change, that they are hopeless in God’s eyes and are more perverted than anyone else on earth. They are all lies designed specifically to keep you from a fruitful relationship with a truly loving God. (Image from Adobe Stock)

We all suffer from stinkin’ thinkin’ at one time or another. It’s unavoidable.

Fortunately, God offers an antidote to the poisonous thinking that we sometimes allow to invade our minds. It can be found in Romans 8:1 — “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

You can’t stop sinning

I really came to understand the power of this passage nearly 20 years ago as I was working on a course about overcoming pornography addiction offered by an online group.

There is no condemnation

One day, after I had fallen — again — and I was beating myself up, the Holy Spirit comforted me with these words, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Conviction vs condemnation

Yes, it’s possible to feel guilt when you sin because you know it is wrong. And it’s healthy that we feel that way whenever we do something that goes against God’s word. But, once you are saved, God’s way of making you feel guilty DOES NOT involve condemnation. But he will work to convict you of your thoughts or behavior

God’s amazing grace

Every Christian is probably familiar with the ageless hymn Amazing Grace, especially the first stanza of the song:

You can be purified of all sins

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” — I John 1:7

Peeling the onion to get to the core

I liken my situation to a very large onion. In order to get to the core of my problem, God had to remove one layer after another of all the guilt and shame that I had wrapped myself in for most of my life.

  • Not being able to see my father for months at a time
  • Moving away from my friends several times
  • Being teased relentlessly at school
  • Being physically abused every day of middle school (I even had my arm broken by a bully)
  • Being told by my mother daily that I should go live with my father
  • Feeling inadequate because I didn’t know or understand sports
  • Being rejected by the first girls I showed interest in
  • Being fired from my first job
  • Being denied confirmation at my church because I asked too many questions
  • Flunking out of college
  • The death of my father when I was 19
  • Not being able to get a job in the career field for which I had invested thousands of dollars in training
  • The failure of my first business
  • Two bankruptcies
  • Being abandoned by every male that came into my life, with the exception of two, within 8 years of meeting them
  • A failed marriage
  • Being wrongly accused and investigated for doing something I did not do (I was exonerated, thank God)
  • Waking up every day thinking I was a failure and wondering who would be the first person I’d disappoint that day

Why didn’t I feel like a “new man?”

I know there are pastors who preach a literal definition of 2 Corinthians 5:17 — “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” They argue that once I made a commitment to follow Christ and accepted him as my savior that I was literally a new man. Then why didn’t I feel like a new man?

The key to overcoming any sin

Verse 8 is key to understanding that we really do have forgiveness, even when we repeat the same sin over and over and over. And to fully understand it, let’s look at verse 1 John 1:6–10 in its entirety.

Who really has power to forgive?

As long as you are facing the Son, his light will shine upon you — even if you’re 92.95 million miles away, like earth is from the sun.

It’s decision time! You can do this!

If you can’t recall a specific instance in your life where you have accepted God’s gift of forgiveness through the death of his son, make that decision now.

I write to ignite bored-again Christians and infuse them with God's kingdom power to become productive, passionate disciples of Jesus and live life to the full.

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