Condemnation is one of the greatest hindrances to intimacy with God. It brings guilt, shame, feelings of inferiority, low self worth, and much else that will stop Christians from experiencing all that God has for them. Some condemnation comes from the enemy, who loves to remind us of all our past wrong doing. He is, after all, the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10).
However, much of the condemnation we experience comes not directly from the Devil but from ourselves. Today’s verse talks about our hearts condemning us. There’s a saying in English that we can be our own worst enemy, and perhaps there’s some truth in that! We can judge ourselves very harshly and often find it difficult to forgive ourselves for past failures, even if we know that God has forgiven us. This results in us living under a cloud of guilt, which is actually false guilt.
The other way we can condemn ourselves is by deciding that there’s nothing good or lovely about ourselves. This can happen as a result of other people’s treatment of us, things that people have said or done to us, which make us feel unlovable, dirty, stupid, useless or even bad. When we judge ourselves in this way, we start to believe lies about ourselves which make it difficult for us to receive God’s truth or to sustain an intimate relationship with Him.
John reminds us in today’s scripture that “God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” How encouraging that God knows every little thing about us, the best and the worst, and yet He still loves and accepts us just as we are. He does not condemn us, even though He knows everything about us; Romans 8:1 tells us that for those who are in Christ Jesus there is now no condemnation. If God doesn’t condemn us, we shouldn’t allow our own hearts to condemn us. But if we do find our hearts condemning us, John tells us that we can set our hearts at rest in God’s presence. Is your heart at rest today?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You that You know everything about me, all my weaknesses and failings, and yet You don’t condemn me. Forgive me for condemning and judging myself. Help me to receive Your truth and to set my heart at rest whenever my heart does condemn me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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