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Harsh Judgment

March 15, 2017

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 18 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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18 Comments
  1. tom ball permalink

    This my friends, is the absolute Gospel in living action.

  2. I totally get it, man. It’s me too. So much easier to share grace with others than apply to myself. Good post.

  3. Judy Baker permalink

    Yes this is me …..always harder on myself than others. When I am down to nothing, then I feel JESUS the strongest…. He has picked me up several times. HE EVEN SPOKE TO ME IN PERSON OR THRU AN ANGEL. He said WHY ARE YOU CRYING ? DONT CRY… I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU OR FORSAKE YOU ….as He slowly walked closer to me lying face down on the couch late one night in August 1968 …I was alone.. The kids were all sleeping. I peeked thru my fingers and saw a bright light then a man dressed in white to his knees with sandals walk closer to me. I was so shocked and
    scared at first …then He repeated the same words and walked closer to me . I thought I must be dreaming so I pinched myself! He was so calm and I felt relaxed but still in shock …I did not move.
    I had never been so heartbroken in my life…crying so hard realizing it was just me to raise these 4 babies. I never told anyone for years. I knew no one would believe me.. it was such a precious moment I did not want anyone to make fun of it. I did not deserve it or do anything except I started to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    Years before when I sincerely prayed for God to help me understand the Bible ..the next day there was always a knock at my door . There are many wonderful Christian people in the world in all different religions. I found my place with the Witnesses.. the one JESUS picked for me . ❤️

    • I believe you Judy. Jesus appeared to me when I was 4 and lost in the woods and HE led me to safety. Then the very next day HE appeared to me to love and comfort me the first time my natural father molested me and I have followed HIM and been taught by HIM ever since. When my son Caleb was 4, he is now almost 23, The Lord appeared to him when he got up in the middle of the night to pee. It was dark and Caleb was frightened and The Lord comforted him and tucked him back into bed. Jesus is real my friends and if we seek Him we will certainly find HIM in even the oddest of circumstances.

      • Judy Baker permalink

        AMEN… I know this is true since it happened to me and you and Caleb and many others in the Bible .. I believe God knows our hearts and reacts to those He choses …we know we believe in Him and He is real – His Son is real and it takes that belief deep down to our soul. I am so humbled as I remember years of abuse by an older uncle when I was so young and innocent.. my very first memories as a little girl just walking and so terrified to even call out…it was like drowning over and over again..nightmares for years and years..running away from a monster in the tall corn fields. He kept coming closer as I saw his shadow and the wind was blowing so hard to keep me from running faster …I was so wrought with fear ..for a child to go through . Jesus saw this and He felt our pain …when we are weak He is strong..What a loving and caring Father and Son to love us and show himself to us…in our deepest darkest hour . ❤️

      • Yes Judy, HE is with us every step of the way in victories, trials, mountains and valleys. HE is our ever present hope and help in times of need.

    • "BK" permalink

      Wow, Judy, I sure get the ‘I didn’t tell anyone for years….’. My reason was because I was in a group that didn’t believe such things happened to women….sigh. Two experiences came to mind as I read Christopher’s and your posts. The first was I was in prayer and I saw myself on my face worshipping Him. He did the oddest thing! He took me by the hand and as He stood me up He said, “Get up! I am Your Friend! You can’t do what I need you to do lying on your face! You need to stand up and walk beside Me so you can see clearly….”. As I read of your experience I smiled as I read about your peeking through your fingers. Reminded me of Song of Solomen when the maiden saw the Lord through the lattice. My experience was when He appeared to me early in the morning when I was in Montana. He was dressed in white as you said….so hard to explain but I finally settled on describing Him as dressed in ‘living light’. What a Friend we have in Jesus. I usually try to use the words ‘good news’ instead of ‘gospel’ just because it says it so well. Love, “BK”

      • Thanks for sharing you experience with us here today BK. Living light describes my view of HIM too.

  4. Kirk, that passage you cited in Romans speaks of the Father’s love for us in His Son. There is no sin, no failure, no self-condemnation, nothing in all of creation that can separate us “from the love of God (the Father) that is in Christ Jesus.” Can the love of the Father for the Son be separated? We are “in Christ.” “It is of God (the Father) that you are IN CHRIST, who has become our wisdom from God, our righteousness, our holiness, our redemption” (I Cor. 1:30). Even now, when the Father turns to His right hand, He sees us SITTING THERE IN CHRIST. That’s why we are told to in Colossians, that “since we have been raised and seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, we are to set our minds (our reflective thinking) on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your1 life appears, then you (our physical selves) also will appear with him in glory.” (Col. 3:1-4). But we have this sin nature, still “in us.” It doesn’t, nor can it, ever change. But we are no longer “in it” because, we are “in Christ.” As someone has said, knowing this, “we can let the facts of our position in Christ overwhelm the feelings of our condition down here.” But this truly is why we “groan in the bodies waiting for the deliverance, our full redemption” when our bodies will catch up to the facts of our position in Christ.

    In this town, I know three Christians who have committed suicide. One gal hung herself inside a church building. Another brother attended our brothers’ meetings, and we knew nothing of his inner turmoil, of his self-condemnation. And another brother was a well loved man of God who lost a son to cancer and his wife died in her sleep. Are they now in heavenly places in Christ? I used to have doubts, but now I believe that if they believed on Christ, that even suicide is unable to “separate them from the love of the Father in the Son.” I think this is where such “self-condemnation” can lead us, to this kind of raw, unrelenting guilt where we despair of life itself. Paul himself experienced this hellish guilt in Romans 7. But still, he stated “there’s no condemnation in Christ.” I think this kind of self-guilt is due to an over-occupation in self-reflection rather than seeing the love that God has for us in His Son. We think we owe God something for His grace, which in itself is a contradiction. We cannot add a single drop of human merit to the grace of God that is in Christ. All we can do is say, “Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift!”

  5. Sue heumann permalink

    The beautiful comments from folks who are trusting in Jesus…..very encouraging isn’t it, to know we standing with others when we have all this self doubt and self Condemnation. But standing, no sitting, because IT IS FINISHED is Jesus, alongside, within, ahead of us, shepherding his beloved sheep to green pastures, AND deep valleys where the food is the richest, though a difficult trail. Praising God for his workings in our lives…. And if we really would ‘one another’ each other, and confess our sins one to another there would be no secrets, and we COULD encourage one another! I am now convinced that holding things inside is not how the body is supposed to work.

  6. Dan permalink

    A very good and freeing word. Thank you, Christopher!

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