September 29, 2019
Scripture: Romans 8:1
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Thought for the Day: I have always read this passage one specific way, but a few days back, I was reading through Romans and my mind heard these words differently. We often think of God as the One doing the disapproving, but I wonder if the gift Christ Jesus offers has more to do with freedom from the condemnation of self. Guilt, shame and self-hatred are not of God, but we impose them upon ourselves as a form of self incrimination and denunciation. I have watched people who have experienced a lot of pain imposed upon them by others, yet you could still say that they are their own worst enemies. They beat themselves up, providing absolutely no self mercy or care. Paul, who states often that salvation is through grace alone, seems to be pushing a narrative of a God who is more kind to us than we are to ourselves. I can almost hear God saying, “I forgave you because I love you, so move forward with your life and enjoy it! You are beautiful to me!”
Prayer: Whatever it is that claims a disapproving power over me, I announce with your authority, O Lord, I am free to live as one who is loved without condition. In the joy of that news, let me speak those words to others who are beating themselves up and holding themselves down. Amen.
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