There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1).
There are certain things within our lives that we don’t always enjoy talking about or sharing. But, this morning, I feel strongly led to share a darker piece of my life’s past. Fortunately, God has shown me and delivered me from this area and I praise Him for it.
Unfortunately, as with some of you, I was raised in an environment of “condemnation.” It wasn’t until I was an adult and had studied the Scriptures for many years that I discovered how truly harmful this type of environment can be on a person. Then, later on, while studying child psychology in college to become a teacher, I learned that for every negative action or negative comment spoken to a child, it takes seven positive statements or actions to “try” to erase the damage done by the one negative. With that in mind, you can only imagine what it is like when a child is repetitively scorned and told how “stupid,” “spoiled-rotten,” and/or “ugly” they are.
I wish I could say that I only had one or two negative words spoken to me as a child; but that would be highly untrue. As a child, I could simply spill a glass of water and the repercussion would range from being told how “stupid” I was to a harsh slap across the face; or both. As a child, I observed how other children could ask their parents for things and often receive them without any condemnation attached. It appeared these parents possessed a natural “joyous” spirit in giving to their children. They also allowed room for childhood mistakes and accidents such as spilling a glass of water or dropping something without the punishment being greater than the crime!
That wasn’t the case with me. I would be told how “selfish” and “spoiled-rotten” I was when I asked for certain things. It seemed everything given to me came with certain “conditions.” In one way or the other I was supposed to feel “guilty” for receiving things I liked or enjoyed in this life. I was either to feel “guilty” that my parents had put my “wants” above those of their own, or I should feel guilty for having things that they didn’t have or enjoy when they were young and growing up. No matter the case, I was supposed to feel guilty…condemned….a spirit of condemnation… It sort of made it hard to enjoy anything given to me! Actually, it has taken me a life-time to work through the “guilt.”
When you are raised up in a spirit of condemnation nothing you ever do seems good enough. Even after I graduated college, as an adult, a very close family member stated to me, on the night of my graduation ceremony, “Just because you went to college don’t you ever think you are smarter than me!” Wow! Now that’s what a person wants to hear after working so hard for four years, graduating with honors (Cum Laude), and entering a career in teaching! And, while going through college all four years, I worked a full-time job as a high school secretary right up to student teaching, as well as carrying out several duties and offices at my church as the pastor’s wife; plus being a mother, and NEW grandmother! It may not seem like much of an accomplishment to some…but to me…it was a miraculous miracle! I Praise God for it!!
There it was….Clear as a picture…No matter what I did or what I accomplished in this life…it simply would not be good enough. Even though that sad fact was in no way “my” fault, I was made to feel guilty about it just the same. According to some close family members, I had it better in life than them, and I was to carry the guilt and burden because of it!
When I became an adult and a parent, I wanted to be different. I wanted to “give” my three daughters everything I could without any “strings” attached; and I was absolutely thrilled every time they made yet another accomplishment in life. I almost wanted to over-compensate and shout their victories from the mountain top! My daughters know very well that I will take you down if you mess with my girls….or any of my grandchildren! I take their side no matter what! And, they don’t “owe” me a thing for doing it….I do it out of a heart and spirit of Love.
I also wanted my children to know what it was like to be raised faithfully in the House of the Lord. My two best friends back in junior high and high school went to church faithfully every Sunday with their families; one being a pastor’s daughter. I always thought it was so neat when families sat on the same bench singing and praising the Lord together. It was a love I couldn’t describe. The Lord worked through these opportunities and occasions to give me a desire to want to faithfully serve Him as well. Through these families and others, I witnessed first hand the loving and encouraging actions and words that could be spoken between a parent and their children.
Even today, I never want my adult children to ever feel “guilty” because they have more or do more than me in this life. I want them to accomplish more and to have more than me! And, they do!! I want my son-in-law’s company and ministry to always be thriving and my daughter to be the best pastor’s wife ever! I want my daughter who is a vice-president for a large bank to continue to do well in her career and the company she and her husband own to always be successful. And, I want my oldest daughter who is an administrator in the court system to see great accomplishments in her and her husband’s lives. All to the Honor and Glory of God! I want these things for my grandchildren as well. I AM BLESSED very much through the lives of my children and grandchildren. And, I don’t take that for granted. I know it is ALL a precious gift from God. And, more than anything I want the favor of God upon their lives; always. I pray for this daily.
Condemnation hurts….Rejection hurts…Guilt hurts….But, you will find that God sent his Son NOT into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved! Hallelujah! LOVE….GOD’S LOVE….UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!!! Amen…(John 3:16-17).
Even today, I continue to allow God to do His work on the scars of condemnation that make havoc on my heart from time to time. Sometimes, I have to fight this condeming, negative spirit in my own life…It’s like coming out of an addiction. I can find myself becoming too overly critical of certain things or too hard on those around me; and on myself. When I do… I have to stop…ask God to forgive me…and to deliver me from a spirit of condemnation…
Today, you might be facing or fighting a spirit of condemnation that resides within your own life. It’s hard to overcome condemnation; I know. But, it can be done through the unconditional love and acceptance of Christ Jesus. Jesus loves and enjoys giving to his children, and He won’t make you feel guilty or embarrass you when He blesses you…. Like the old songs says, “Jesus paid it all….All to Him I owe…Sin had left a crimson stain; He washed it white as snow.”
I pray that God will make a way to deliver you from any bondage or stronghold of condemnation that you might have upon your life. Trust Him today…Amen.
Remember, God Loves you!
Lin T Rollins, Author