Self condemnation?

Written on 03/11/2024
Christian Dunn

Verse: 1 John 3:19-20

19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

Have you ever struggled with an over active conscience? Or wrestled with feeling like you've definitely messed up in some way and deserve punishment, but you can't really figure out what you've done? Or when you try to pray or spend time with God you feel a gulf between you and him because of past sin?

This verse is a powerful reminder of God's grace. John's been talking about how loving others is evidence of our genuine faith. And now he says that we know we belong to the truth if we follow the way of Jesus even if our hearts at times condemn us. If we are following Jesus, and our hearts try to remind us of our past sins that have been covered by his forgiveness, or make us feel shame or guilt or like we aren't really saved, John reminds us that God is greater than our hearts.

Basically John wants to remind us that our salvation and forgiveness ("we know that we belong to the truth") is based on God and not on our feelings. Even when we feel distant from God, we are still "in him" if we are believers. Even when we are struggling with sin, we are still with him because he forgives us. Even when we are remembering our past mistakes we are still loved by him because our past is covered by his work on the cross.

Don't let your shame, guilt or condemnation keep you away from the love, forgiveness and grace of your Savior. In his love we find total acceptance and peace. And even if we are currently battling sin, his grace and forgiveness will be what leads us out of those sins, not our own condemnation. Allow yourself to feel his grace in your heart this morning!