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Harsh Judgment

October 5, 2015

Greetings,

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:  ”For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8: 35-39

The last 16 years PTSD and related flashbacks of childhood sexual abuse and rape have really put me through the wringer.  I have experienced a few highs, but many, many, very deep lows. And right now I have several close friends facing various trials of faith.  I just needed to be reminded and to remind these dear friends today that NOTHING can separate us from the love of Jesus.

However, I know of one thing that can sure seem like it does separate us from Christ’s love, and that one thing is self condemnation.  When we judge ourselves too harshly, it is like we put up a wall between us and Christ.  I am well familiar with self hate and loathing.  When I was in the throes of PTSD flashback hell, I said and did unthinkable things to the ones that I loved.  I was lost in the past and I thought they were more of my abusers and I would do anything to create space between me and them.  I drove them away with harsh words and actions.  I even tried to drive God away from me because I was so ashamed of my behavior during PTSD episodes.

I held myself to an impossible standard of upright behavior and when I failed to attain that standard, I judged myself as being totally unworthy of love and concern.   I mean how could a Christ follower act in those ways?  My loved ones, psychiatrists, and counselors told me I was not fully responsible for my actions, but I could not hear them through the walls of pain and remorse I had built for myself.

Even without the PTSD I have always been very hard on myself.  I have always been quick to call myself a hypocrite when I fell short of a perfect “Christian” walk.  Grace was something I could freely give to others, but never to myself.  The outcome of my Super-Christian mentality led to deep and dark depression and even more self hate.

In the last several years I have been humbled by the ever-amazing love and grace of Jesus The Christ.  I hit my rock bottom and lost nearly everything, but even in the midst of great pain and loss there was Jesus.  He was always there, but I could not recognize Him because I tried to view Him through lenses of religious perfection.  When I finally just surrendered and gave up, He picked me right up and placed me on my feet again.  Now here I am ready to go as many rounds as necessary to win the battles that He now picks for me.  Now I realize that the only standard is Christ and that NO ONE measures up because we all fall short. The only one who can meet that standard is Jesus and the good news is that HE meets the standard for each and every one of us EVERY time.  We NEVER measure up, but HE ALWAYS DOES!

I was concerned about judging myself properly because I was worried about not measuring up on JUDGMENT DAY.  Now I realize that judgment day is not about me or what I have done, but it is all about Jesus and what He has done for us in advance.  To my friends who are struggling…just give up and surrender WHATEVER is holding you down.  Just accept His grace, mercy and love and learn how to walk in it.  I know EASY to say, harder to do, but if I can do it surely anyone can.  Remember that no low is too low for Jesus to reach and deliver.  I know and I am praying for you all.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

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9 Comments
  1. daryl permalink

    will be praying for you as well.The same amazing grace that saves us,keeps us!….(in spite of our best efforts to do it ourselves). I was reminded of the “how much more” passages in Romans 5 as i read this…”since we have now been justified by his blood,HOW MUCH MORE shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!For if when we were God’s enemies,we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son,HOW MUCH MORE,having been reconciled,shall we be saved through his life!” “But the gift is not like the trespass.For if the many died by the trespass of the one man,HOW MUCH MORE did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man,Jesus Christ,overflow to the many!” Again,the gift of god is not like the result of the one man’s sin:The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation,but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.For if,by the trespass of the one man,death reigned through that one man,HOW MUCH MORE will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man,Jesus Christ.” Rom.5:9,10,15-17 I apologize for all the verses(as if others couldn’t look them up!),but i hope they bring encouragement to someone. As you said, it really is all about Jesus and what he has done.

  2. Good word Capt.. And, what Daryl just said here. Amen! We all fall into self-condemnation at times, but long ago I finally realized that the only possible way to find or re-enter peace was to recognize the obvious: if the mercy of God isn’t enough, nothing can nor will be. On judgment day we stand before our Father, not the father of lies. Bless you my friend! -Glenn

  3. Thank you for sharing personal things about your life. I know it must be hard to speak about such things. I have dealt with depression and anxiety and some of the things I have done to myself and to my family have been pretty harsh and horrible. But my family has forgiven over time and God has restored those I hurt the most. Anyway thinks for being so open…. I don’t believe I will ever be that free with my personal life.

  4. Pam Smith permalink

    Good post Chris. God’s mercy, and grace, which always run hand in hand, is amazing, and bigger than all off this. Thank you

  5. Thanks for all the wonderful affirmation. All I really do is share what HE wants me to share. I know that the vast majority of people who suffer from severe PTSD never make it back to a secure and safe place. I know I am blessed and very, very fortunate to be emotionally and mentally stable and I don’t take that for granted. I am transparent and open simply because Jesus has called me to be that way in order to help others. If I closed myself off it would surely be sinful for me. Like my dear friend Glenn Kaiser says….”It will cost you everything to follow Jesus and it will cost you everything if you don’t.” If I err may it always be on the side of grace, love and mercy.

  6. Rich Chamberlin permalink

    You are not alone – bull shit church doctrines drove Martin Luther to despare. They work very hard to make us feel like crap. I never paid much attention to it – but try not get so mad about so many needlessly hurt. God bless us all!
    \

  7. BK Zimmer permalink

    Eph 4 “Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?” Psa 139 “Thou I make my bed in hell behold Thou art there”. Psa 23 “Yea, tho I walk thru the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil for Thou art with me.” So very cool that He not only knows about the heavenlies, but hell too. What a God. Love, “BK”

  8. James Walton permalink

    The walk in holiness is difficult. As I get older, I realize more and more my need for a Savior. A verse that has helped me is Galatians 5:4 You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. I realized that it is trying to be justified by keeping the law that shows a fall from grace, not my stumbling in sin. I am now quick to repent (change my thinking and actions) and claim Jesus’ completed work and His blood; then I am free to walk in the power of His Holy Spirit and reflect Him as a disciple. I see that you are on that path as well. I encourage you to keep believing and keep living for him. Whenever you stumble, stumble into our savior Jesus and be restored!

    • Great comment James, thanks for sharing! Many times I need to crawl in holiness rather than walk. I need Christ to steady all my actions knowing that when I am weak, HE is strong.

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