Do you know the difference between condemnation and conviction?
Condemnation is about you. Conviction is about Him.
Condemnation is, "Oh, I can't believe I did it again. Oh, I just feel so terrible. How could I have done that? This is really, really dreadful. Yeah, I've asked God to forgive me, but I just can't seem to forgive myself because it's just so awful that I would do something like that."
Who is that about?
It's about me. And it's about me because I haven't embraced the cross. I can't believe that I would sin like that. And I can't believe I would sin like that because I haven't believed the cross. I haven't believed what it says about me.
What the cross says about me is this:
I am more sinful and flawed than I ever dared believe.
And I am more loved and welcomed that I ever dared hope.
Dad's suicide note said, "No matter how hard I try, I just can't change."
Of course I have why questions about Dad's death. One of them was what lie held him captive. I have my answer. It was the lie of condemnation. I'm sure there were other lies, but that was the one he verbalized.
Condemnation leads to death. And the only way to combat it is the cross. You're ashamed of something you did? Jesus Christ died for that. You wish you could take back something you said? Jesus Christ died for that. You made a colossal, irreparable mistake? Jesus Christ died for that. You have hatred and resentment in your heart? Jesus Christ died for that. You neglected something or someone that matters to you? Jesus Christ died for that.
You are forgiven. And you are more loved and welcomed than you ever dared hope. Because it's not about you. It's about Him.