One of my favorite movies is It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey is continually baffled by the beauty his wife sees in their old, drafty, worn- down home. He only sees the creaking steps and sagging trim. But Mary Bailey’s eyes light up with hope and promise as she drinks in the sight of the big, rambling house. She sees the hidden beauty just waiting to be exposed. And I believe that is exactly how God sees us.
Welcome back to When Your Heart is Stamped “Condemned”. In Part 1, we looked at two types of condemned houses: the keep-away and the fake-out. https://tarajohnsonstories.com/when-your-heart-has-been-stamped-condemned/ Many of us have hung a condemned sign over our own hearts, thinking we’ve messed up too much, or run too far for God to want us back. There are usually two sources that lie to us about our mistakes: Satan and ourselves.
Satan is an accuser, a liar, and a gigantic pain.
“He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” ~John 8:44
When you learn to recognize the weeds of his lies, it will be easier to refuse them a place to grow in your heart. Satan uses accusations like “You are worthless” or “No one would love you if they knew what you’ve done”. He will tell us we are not pleasing to God. He tells us our sin is unforgivable. In fact, he keeps bringing those shameful memories up over and over again. Sometimes he even uses other people to do it.
Understand something, my friend: Jesus never tells you what a loser you are.
When the devil condemns us let us remember he is a liar through and through (John 8:44).
I can hear the question rolling around inside you. “But, Tara, I’m not perfect. I mess up. I’m human. God doesn’t turn a blind eye to sin.” That’s why we’re going to discuss the difference between condemnation and conviction.
Condemnation is from the enemy. Conviction is from God. The difference can be found in the purpose between the two. Let’s make a list to contrast them.
Condemnation VS Conviction
Condemnation comes from Satan, but conviction comes from the Holy Spirit.
Condemnation intends to tear you down, but conviction exposes with the purpose of lifting up and setting free.
Condemnation focuses on self, but conviction focuses on God.
Condemnation points out failures, but conviction points towards hope and forgiveness.
Condemnation avoids the solution, but conviction gives the solution…Jesus.
Condemnation centers on guilt and shame, but conviction is Godly sorrow that leads to repentance.
Simply put, the Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin but Satan attacks our worth.
The enemy wants you to wallow in despair, insecurity and unworthiness. Why? Because when you do, you are rendered ineffective for Jesus and the plans He has for your life.
Oftentimes, we heap guilt and expectations on ourselves, for no other reason than being a broken human. We compare ourselves to others, live in the world of ‘shoulds’ and perfectionism, only to realize we can never measure up. Even more destructive, we inadvertently condemn God because we have no idea how He could possibly love us unconditionally.
I think sometimes we focus more on what we hear about God, than what we really know about Him. The world seems to have this idea that God is constantly frowning, pointing a finger at His children, demanding we do the perfection dance to win His good graces. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If you have given your life to Christ and accepted His gift of love and redemption, you are no longer condemned in His eyes. You’re no longer a filthy beggar from the Land of Darkness. You are His.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1)
You can’t do anything to win His love and you can’t do anything to lose His love. Not because of who you are, but because of who He is. God doesn’t want you feel condemned, broken or useless. In fact, His Son died so you wouldn’t feel that way any longer.
“Perhaps you’ve allowed the enemy to hang a ‘Condemned’ sign on your heart and you’ve almost given up on authentic love….take your pulse. If your heart is still beating, it’s worth healing! Here’s the catch, however: God’s method of healing a condemning heart is to love it to death, then create in us a new heart…A heart filled with faith instead of fear.” (Moore)
It’s time to know and rely on the unconditional, overwhelming love God has for us…for you. Sometimes our insecurities scream at us. We fear we’ll never be good enough, or smart enough, or brave enough…but the truth is, we don’t have to be. Jesus is all of those things for us.
And every time you’re tempted to hang up the ‘Condemned’ sign, remember that your name is engraved on the palm of His hands. (Isaiah 49:16) You’ve been restored.