“When we are going through desperate, difficult times, the hardest thing can be hearing the voices of condemnation, rejection, and shame from others. The Enemy – the accuser of our brothers – loves to use people to kick us in the stomach when we’re down. The Enemy loves to use our sin to condemn us rather than allow us to hear the conviction of the Holy Spirit . . . Jesus silences the condemning voices and commands them to leave. Listen to the kindness in His voice as He says in John 8:10-11.” By Beth Redman God Knows My Name: Never Forgotten, Forever Loved
As the story goes in the book of John a group of people brought a woman, “caught in sin” to Jesus to have her stoned. Instead of giving them a quick yes or no Jesus started writing in the dirt while telling them that whoever was without sin got to throw the first stone. Instead of being able to throw the stone they wanted to so badly one stone after another dropped to the ground while they quietly snuck away.
After Jesus stood up from His writing ordeal He looked around as if He was surprised, “Where’s your accusers?” He asked. The woman told Him they were all gone. Jesus then tells her, “well I don’t condemn you either, go and sin no more.”
What a praise it is that Jesus doesn’t condemn us. We don’t need to condemn ourselves. We don’t need to listen to Satan’s condemnation. What we need to do is “go and sin no more.” During hard and rough times it seems like the voices that are the loudest are those full of condemnation. People thinking they could have “worn your shoes better” and did things a lot more successful.
Back in the days of when my daughter first told me she was pregnant I struggled a great deal with what others may say about the situation. As time passed my defenses went up and I was ready for any of those critics out there in critic land. I had my mind already made up that if anyone came along and condemned me or her and rattled on about “what they would have done.” I was ready to take off my shoes and hand them to them telling them, “if you think you could do better, here’s my shoes.”
Thanks to God fearing people and an understanding church family the occasion never arose. Everyone was very supportive and lessons were learned, granddaughters were born, and God told us all “go and sin no more.” He never once condemned us but encouraged us to go forward wiser and more Christ-like.
It’s when we begin to listen to these voices over the voice of God telling us, “I don’t condemn you either, go and sin no more,” that we get discouraged. We begin a downward spiral in our spirit that doesn’t need to happen. God wants us to be obedient. He’s not going to let us off the hook at the end if we don’t repent and turn our lives around towards Him. He’s not the one doing the condemning of our souls but the choices we make in life are doing that for us. Those choices are the ones we need to review and look at and decide, “No, I’m not going there. I’m doing what Jesus said and go and sin no more.”
We don’t need the world’s critics, what we need is Christ.
Our host today is Loni at writing Canvas
© 2010 Karen J. Gillett @ Pencil Marks and Recipes Publishing