When God Illuminates Your Sin
Don’t you hate it when you are reading something spiritual or doing a Bible study and you suddenly realize something you’ve been doing is a sin?
And don’t you hate it when the preacher is preaching and you realize God is targeting you?
And don’t you hate it when you get my emails and read what I’m challenging you on and feel like a spiritual failure?
I do. Even with my own emails or posts. I can’t live up to God’s standard, or my own. I’ve always lived with such guilt and feelings of spiritual inadequacy over that. The guilt is ever-present, even being a baptized believer and knowing I’m free in Christ. I’m hyper-aware of sin, both “sins of commission" and “sins of omission.” Once I knew about “sins of omission” as a middle-schooler, I felt I was pretty much in a constant state of sin.
This past week, 42 years after becoming a Christian, I finally grasped something. “There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:15 I have known that verse since high school because it is a song we would sing. But I didn’t understand the implications. I still felt condemnation if I saw my sin or struggled with it.
Then this week I read this statement in The Quest by Beth Moore: “Remember condemnation has no place in intimacy with God. Christ bore all the condemnation on the cross. When you walk with God and He spotlights a negative pattern, it’s always good news. He wants to break the old pattern.”
That was a revelation to me. I suddenly saw how God sees us because I saw it as a mother. When my kids are doing something that I don’t like or something dangerous or something just immoral and I point it out, I’m not condemning them (even though they probably feel like I am). I’m just wanting them to change the behavior, to grow in maturity or grow spiritually. I often want to help them change the behavior. But it does not alter my love for them or my enjoyment of being in their company.
I am rejoicing that I now understand that God no longer condemns us: condemnation has no place in our relationship. But He will still show us our sin. He can’t let us stay in sin. Sin leads to death and destruction and God wants us free and thriving. Paradoxically, it’s actually good news that he shows us our sin! I think I can now face the sins God shows me with a new view: it’s just a nudge from Him to make a change.