“Who then is the one who condemns? No one.” (Romans 8:34a, NIV)
So many of us walk around feeling condemned: “I am no good! I have done terrible things! There is no way God would ever forgive me. I am despicable. I’m a no good person.”
My question is this: “Who is the one who condemns you?”
“Are you certain? Or is there someone else who condemns you?”
You may not know this, but there is someone who does continually condemn you: “You are no good!”
Who is this person? “For the accuser (the evil one) of our brothers and sisters, who accused them before our Good day and night.” (Revelation 12:10b, NIV)
The evil one wants you to feel like you are a nobody, a no good. The evil one doesn’t want you to experience our Heavenly Father. He wants you to be estranged from Him. If you agree with the evil one, you will feel like a no good nobody, because you are agreeing with the one who wants to destroy you. Is that what you want?
Our Heavenly Father never condemns. He made certain of that. Jesus came into our neighborhood to show what real love looked like: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:17, NIV). Our Heavenly Father is on our side!
Last year we visited Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in all of Portugal. We enjoyed this beautiful town, and at one time we went under the bridge to admire its beauty. I was getting ready to take a picture when I stepped into a muddy brook. My left shoe was completely covered with sticky, stinky mud. It was hard to walk that way, and people looked at me strangely.
My wife came to my rescue: “My poor hubby. Let’s go to the bathroom.” Once there, she made me sit outside while she took my shoe and cleaned it under the running water of the sink in the public bathroom. The mud was swallowed away, and though the shoe was still wet, it looked and smelled so much better that it didn’t matter.
It’s true that I offered to clean my own shoe, but my wife wouldn’t let me: “Don’t worry about it. Just relax!” She said. Never once did she condemn me. Instead she showed me love.
This is how our Heavenly Father reacts when we feel like we are no good. “Don’t worry. I will clean it up. I love you.” Jesus came not to condemn, but to save. The sick were healed. The lost found their way. Those with muddy shoes were vigorously cleaned. There is no more condemnation, for Jesus has freed us into real liberty.
The next time you feel condemned, remember that it doesn’t have to be this way. The price was already paid. There is no more condemnation. It was left at the cross.