Searching frantically for a hiding place, I ducked into a closet, trembling in the shadows. The man with the gun was coming closer. I could hear his footsteps stop outside the closet. The doorknob was turning. An ominous silhouette appeared in the semi-darkness. Moonlight gleamed on the gun as he pointed it at me…
Bolting up in bed, I gasped in the darkness and looked at the clock. 5:00 am. My heart was still pounding violently and my pajamas were soaked in sweat. Exhaling shakily, I tried to clear my head of the nightmare that was robbing me of sleep. I longed for this night to be over.
It was no surprise I was having such stressful dreams. It was an indication of the state of my heart – anxious, fearful, exposed. Accusing thoughts had been plaguing me. I felt I had broken the confidence of a friendship, and the conversations replayed in my mind like a song stuck on repeat. Even though I had apologized to my friend, and she had forgiven me, I couldn’t accept her forgiveness.
“Why did I say those things? Why did I do that? What was I thinking? I’m so stupid!”
No Longer Condemned
Condemned by my own thoughts, I felt like the woman caught in adultery in John 8. I thought I deserved to be stoned. But if I was honest, I had to admit that there was no one condemning me but myself. God had forgiven me. My friend had forgiven me. The only one left holding the stones was ME!
Closing my eyes, I could picture Jesus looking at me as He looked at that woman, with such love and compassion in His gaze. I could hear His gentle voice asking me, “Where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:11-12 NIV)
I forced myself to take deep breaths as I allowed the truth of His words to saturate my soul. I am forgiven. And I am no longer guilty in His sight. And if God does not condemn me, who am I to condemn myself? One by one, I cast down the accusing stones. In the assurance of His forgiveness and grace, I could finally lie down again and sleep in peace.
Do you struggle with condemning thoughts? Do you have difficulty accepting God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of others? Lay down your stones. You don’t need to be the judge of your soul. The God of all the universe is the Supreme Judge, and He does not condemn you. Receive His forgiveness today!
“This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything.” (I John 3:19-20, TNIV)