Sunday, June 10, 2012

Overcoming Self-Condemnation

These days it seems that many Christians are living in a world of inadequacy – inadequacy with themselves because of their own personal failures. As I was writing one of the workbooks in the Proverbs Untangled series, I received the following direction from the Lord regarding this sense of guilt and shame. If that is you, then dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray that you take this word from the Lord seriously.

I think we can all agree that Jesus Christ was the only perfect man to walk this earth. Let's say that His perfection is 100%.

According to Matthew 9:13, did Jesus come for the imperfect or the perfect? If we perceive ourselves as incapable of sinning or making mistakes, where is our need for Jesus? Or more to the point, if we are constantly striving to be that 100% but failing, where is our need for Jesus?

If we are operating at something less that 100%, say 80% perfect, what does Romans 8:1 say about the remaining 20%? It says, "For there is now no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus."

Our sense of inadequacy says that we are focusing on that 20%, dwelling on each time we add another circumstance to that stumbling block. This sense of inadequacy says, "I could do it, I could achieve it, if I was only better at what I do."

Paul, after stating in Romans 7 that he continues to sin despite his efforts to achieve better, continues to that relieving word in Romans 8:1. Paul is stating that his 20% is covered by Christ; he is at 100%. His mistakes and sins do not lead to condemnation, for they have been forgiven and covered by grace.

If we are in Christ Jesus, we are now a finished work. We will continue to do things that we should not do, but to the glory of God, these are forgiven (John 3:17). Yes, we should continue to grow so that our 20% becomes less, but know that grace covers all.

If you are plagued by a sense of inadequacy, please know that you are 100% perfect in the eyes of Christ.