When Jesus suffered and died on the cross, He took with Him our sins so that they could be nailed to the cross and die with Him. We all know this. It’s basic catechism. So why are we so quick to put ourselves down and beat ourselves up for what we don’t like in us? Why do we find it so hard to forgive ourselves even after we’ve been to the Sacrament of Confession? When Jesus died, so did the Father’s condemnation of those who want to live with Him in heaven eternally.
Think about it.
If Jesus took all our judgment upon Himself, then who can condemn us any further? Jesus died long before we came along. And Jesus rose from the dead long before we came into this world. Once we have been baptized in the Lord, condemnation is a thing of our past — our long ago past.
How then, can we condemn? How can we condemn anyone whom Jesus loves? There is no one He does not love. Including and especially ourselves! Jesus went to court for us. He stood in front of the Father and heard all of the judgments against us — Jesus knew long before we were born all the sins we would commit. As He watched the hammer drop, He knew: “You are being crucified for this.”
“Condemned to death” for us. We can no longer be condemned, because we are no longer condemnable! Here is a song through which Jesus wants to minister to you:
Why then, do we waste time condemning ourselves? God does not condemn us. We cannot love others unconditionally if we cannot first love ourselves this way. If we make a decision to stop condemning ourselves for being less than perfect, then we can enter into the unconditional love that God has for us. Then we can experience the same kind of love that Jesus says is the second most important commandment: “Love each other as you love yourself.”
Self-love must be reached before we can venture out and love others. The first step to self-love is making a conscious effort to stop condemning ourselves for who we are. God made us; no man is a “self-made man” — that’s just plain old human arrogance talking. And yet, the man who claims this, if he is a believer in Christ, is not condemned by God for thinking or saying it.
God does not condemn us for anything. We have no right or cause to condemn ourselves. Each time we do, we are snubbing our nose at the Crucified Christ. We are saying that what HE did for us, taking on the world’s punishment by giving up HIS life, was not good enough.
Jesus said the greatest gift is to lay down your life for a friend. There is no greater gift. Jesus gave us the best gift there was to give. Not only was He our friend, He was a sinless friend — free of sin until HE hung on that cross. That day, HE became the most sin-full man that ever walked or will walk the earth. No other person has nor can take upon himself or herself that much sin. How arrogant are we to condemn anyone for something Jesus already died for!
We should abolish the word “condemn” from our lips unless we are telling the story of Jesus and how He took our condemnation for us. It’s the only time the word should come up in our comments and in our attitudes. The world condemns us and each other because they are condemned, but we are not of the world. If there’s one thing God’s people are free from, it’s this: No longer are we condemned. It’s time to stop this futile self-destructive activity and find more Godly things to do with our time, thoughts and talents.
Self-condemnation is by far the most wasteful way we spend our time if we’re Christian. Let’s stop this war within ourselves and let God’s love for us take it’s rightful place. After all, Jesus certainly has earned it for us!
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© 2001 by Nancy Gardner Viola
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