Discern The Voices
For me there are times where it is almost a feeling of being able to see myself with another’s eyes, some eyes that see the worst, and this for me has been what condemnation has felt like. Ever have a general ambiguous sense of feeling lousy, like a failure or seeing yourself as a total mess or even feeling like your seeing yourself with a pair of eyes that makes you feel like your terrible!
Our sin should cause us guilt and make us want to change- but not, whip ourselves or drive us to despair. For a non Christian, when the Holy Spirit is at work to convict and draw them to Christ he allows them to see their sin and empowers them to trust Christ to wash away their sinful ways- yet if the Devil is at work he would want to drive people to despair, self loathing, or even end their lives if he could get them to. Yet God does not tempt, and God’s Spirit would never tempt a person to self destruct or commit suicide.
A lot of Christians even have trouble with discerning God’s voice from self condemnation or the Devil at times im regards to when we blow it. As Christ followers we want to know The Lord’s voice and it takes time and practice to develop greater discernment.
Spiritual warfare indeed can be hard to distinguish at times! At least for me, but I think it’s safe to say that whether condemnation or real conviction, it is always a winning choice to turn to Christ. I would say as a general rule of thumb, condemnation is that feeling that makes us look at self in a negative way, leaves us feeling worthless or condemned, like a failure and does not produce hope— often can leave us in despair- like Judas who was remorseful but hung himself instead of truly repenting. God has a goal in mind though when he shows us our sins, as believers it is to help us repent, grow, learn and pusue Christ more. Conviction does not have a morbid focus on self but will uncover sin so we can deal with it properly. Condemnation makes it more abour us in a negative sense then about Christ’s Sacrifice! Conviction should turn us from sin to the Lord yet Condemnation would make us run from the Lord.
Friends identify these impressions and even if you have sinned, do not hide like Adam and his wife Eve did, – shame is only as good as the effect, in the body, inflamation should cause us to see there is a problem to properly address it, yet if the body stays that way it is not good. Likewise guilt is good if it turns us from sin back to Christ but if we just wallow im it, it is not doing any good!
Here are a few Scriptural points we can examine to see where an impression or feeling is coming from.
(God’s Conviction Should Inspire Positive Change- Repentence!)
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
2 Corinthians 7:8-11
Biblical Example: Adam and Eve hiding from the Lord, they hid and then shifted blame instead of acknowleging disobedience!
(Feelings of hopeless despair over sin that would tempt self harm are most certainly not coming from God. )
When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
James 1:13-15 –
Biblical Example- Judas Iscariot——
God Made Us In His Own Image- God’s Conviction will identify namely behaviors and not attack our self worth. Jesus Commanded that We Are Not To Lose Our Composure When Angry And Call Names- [“If anyones says to his brother, you fool, will be endanger of the fire of hell.”] So Why Would God Slander Someone He Created, In Effect He Would Be Saying He Made A Mistake– God condemns sin, yes, and we are all by nature sinful, however God calls us to love and “be merciful even as your Heavenly Father is merciful”
It is one thing for God to warn those who live unrepentent and reject His Atoning Sacrifice for sins, His Son, that he will judge their sin – and it is totally different if God said, “You are garbage and you piece of trash!” God does not insult the part of us made in his likeness but works to turn people from sin back to Him so they can live their fullest potential with their unique wiring as individuals. Yet God slanders no man, he rebukes and gives opportunity to repent, he has a standard and warns of the consequences for sin, but he does not say, “Your worthless and I was wrong that I ever made you! What a mistake I made!”
The only thing that renders us corrupt is the sinful nature but he would remove that from them that turn to Christ by faith so they no longer have to live out of that rotten nature of selfishness, pride and sinful acts!