Guilt and Condemnation!

These two things are truly hard to overcome. Even though God has forgiven things much worse than anything I have done, I still struggle daily. Psalm 51 is all about King David asking the Lord to forgive him for his sin with Bethsheba and the murder of her husband. I have never taken a life but I have had terrible thoughts about other human beings and those thoughts were evil. I no longer have such thoughts but I can honestly say that the dark place that my mind went scared me. When Satan attempts to make me feel guilty or feelings of condemnation fill my mind I have to remember that Jesus died for me and paid the price for my sins.

1 John 1:0 tells me clearly that he is faithful and just to forgive all our sins and to continuously clean us from all unrighteousness. God deserves the "truth" but not our version of the truth or our feelings about the truth. He deserves the truth, the stone-cold facts, he already knows them but until we get real with ourselves and correct our thoughts to deal with such issues how are we ever going to be healed.

There is a difference between being under conviction and condemnation. Conviction is what we feel when we have sinned and we are working it out with God. Conviction is not a bad thing it helps us be honest with ourselves and will lift us up when we are honest and open. The opposite takes place if you are struggling under the pretense of condemnation. That feeling will only lead to making you feel bad about yourself. That is in no way what God wants for any of us.

If you are carrying around guilt and condemnation then shame is probably right there as well. For years I was very ashamed that I was divorced not once but twice. The feeling of being utterly pathetic and a total failure lead me to places and had me acting in ways that I wish I could erase. The good news is that God has erased them. He promises that in Isaiah 54:4; no shame, no disgrace and no longer remember the disgrace. These promises are still true today. Sure people will attempt to bring them up to you, throw it in your face and attempt to drag you backward. Just remember that we as Christians don't live in the past. We live in the now with our eyes are hearts set on Eternity! There are times when those memories, failures, sins, and discretion will creep into our subconscious and take away our peace but we have to remember to tell Satan to get behind us and to refuse to participate in his game of wack-a-mole. He will have our past popping up all over the place as we attempt to knock them all backdown. Thankfully, with the help of the Lord, we can lay down the mallet and unplug the machine - Game Over!

Many circumstances make up the fiber of our being. Some are marvelous and some are hurtful. The trick is to be kind and loving during the hurtful times. Hurt people hurt people as the saying goes and even though I have culprits in my life story, I am sure that I am the culprit in the life story of others. For years I loved under the motto of strike first and strike hard. Hurt them before they hurt you and seek revenge with great intensity. The energy that took was beyond tiring and the only person it truly took a toll on was me. No more, however, that doesn't mean that there aren't times when I don't' jump on the crazy train and rant and rave like a woman possessed but it doesn't take me as long to get off and remember that I don't have to defend my honor or reputation. I don't have to seek revenge. Romans 12:19 clearly tells us "vengeance is mine, I will repay says the Lord." Yep, no mention of needing my help anywhere.

Psalms 12:19 speaks to God surrounding us and defending us because we honor his name.

My energy is now spent on counting my blessings, loving my life, and praising my Lord. To be successful in this I had to learn to pray and genuinely forgive the ones who I use to refer to as the culprits. Didn't happen over night but it did happen and I do not miss the load that left when I handed it all over to God.

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