Don’t Condemn Yourself

Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I.”
John 8:10-11 (NLT)

I love the account of Jesus listening to the men who wanted to stone a woman to death, whom they said committed adultery. Jesus instructed them, “the one without any sin should throw the first stone.” One by one each man left until only the woman and Jesus remained. Jesus asked, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” The woman stood there, no doubt astonished and said, “No Lord.” Then Jesus said those words of extreme freedom, “Neither do I.” Paul brings the point home after explaining our human condition of doing things that we don’t want to and not doing those that we should. He shouts the victory cry, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Hallelujah! That should be enough to set anyone free. Or at least you would think so. However, it is not always, God or others that accuse us. It is our inner voice that has picked up the stone. It is the internal dialog of guilt, shame, remorse, worthlessness that is pelting us, leaving us bloody and beaten. You see, we can be free from the condemnation of those around us. We can believe, in our mind, that Jesus has forgiven us, but if we do not deal with the inner conflict, the lifelong attitudes of low self worth, we are not free from the pain of condemnation. We must take an inventory and one by one take all our internal accusers and watch them leave. Each one, unqualified to condemn us, until there are none left and then Jesus can say to us, “Where are your accusers?” And we can lift our heart in deep gratitude and say, “There are none!”

Lord, I thank You that You have forgiven me for my sins. However, there are attitudes inside my heart that constantly condemn me. They are full of shame, guilt, and legalism, tying me up and keeping me from experiencing the freedom You have given me. Today, help me renounce these inner condemnations and celebrate your forgiveness. Help me live in the reality of Your love.


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