New Grace for Old Relational Patterns of Condemnation – Purity 690
Purity 90 03/28/2022
Today’s photo of a snowy sunset on the shores of Lake Ontario in Oswego NY comes to us from Celestial Blue Photography who shared this “dawn-like” sunset back on February 5th of this year.
Well, whether it’s the sun setting on the weekend or a dawn of a new week, it’s Monday again and even though we had the potential for Spring to be sprung, the temperatures have regressed again, and it is a brisk 19 degrees outside of my house “down by the River” this morning.
It is technically spring. It is a new season but as is evidenced by the cold temperatures outside sometimes things go back to a familiar pattern of the past even when we would like that to not be the case.
Similarly, Christians who now have a new life in Christ sometimes revert back to the emotional and behavioral patterns that reflect the season of their “old man.” We can be walking in victory and be filled with the joy and peace that comes from being right with God and living according to His ways and then, just like an unexpected cold spell can intrude on the early days of spring, suddenly something can happen in our experience that can trigger a response from our past that tears our peace asunder and sends us into reactive patterns of negative emotions and behaviors.
I recently experienced such a shift from the peace and joy of the Lord to the desperate cries of condemnation and bitterness when I overextended myself and stretched myself too thin.
I recently took an “ego trip” of a vacation by taking a break from my full time job as a telecommunications field technician to be trained as a psychiatric technician for my county’s mobile crisis assessment team and had been excited by the opportunity to put my education in psychology back to work and to earn a little extra cash as I helped people in my local community to find peace. The week of training was challenging but rewarding and I was quite proud of how I was incorporating the new part time job to work within my busy schedule of life and ministry.
I was looking ahead, and scheduling part time shifts at MCAT and was excited that I had a pretty clear view of how I could skillfully juggle all the aspects of my life with just a little bit of planning. I was a little tired from the shift from my “ego-trip” back to my regular day job last week, but I had it all figured out and shot a text to my wife to give her a heads up about some of the part time shifts I was going to pick up in the weeks ahead.
Then the perfect storm of condemnation and bitterness came rolling in like an unexpected cold front when I suddenly realized my view wasn’t as clear as I thought, I was stretched a little further than I thought, and I was still carrying a little behavioral baggage from my past relationships.
In my expert planning, I had missed something. My wife pointed out that I was “double booking myself” on a particular day in the weeks ahead and she asked if I had my dates right or if I understood that I was signing myself up for a 16 hour day of work on a Saturday. Before this mistake was pointed out she also jokingly asked if I was trying to avoid her by scheduling theses shifts. Ha Ha.
The two unrelated texts – her joke and her good intention to look out for me – instantly filled me with a mix of condemnation and self-righteous indignation.
Her joke was taken out of context and cut like a knife. I wasn’t trying to avoid her at all. I love her madly and was only working this job to try to take care of my debt because a. it is the right thing to do and b. I wanted to do so to give us a better future. So the ‘accusation” I heard filled me with pain that she would ever think that I was trying to avoid her and then also filled me with anger because I was “doing the best I can” to deal with the problem of my debt and then it filled me with condemnation that I had only been remarried for a couple of months and was already “messing it up”.
I thought I had it all figured out and I had made a mistake by double booking. Apparently, I didn’t have my jobs all figured out and I was messing up my marriage too.
That was an overstatement of course and I would normally have thanked my wife for saving me from my mistake, but my lack of rest made me a little less patient and discerning and what normally would have been a minor mistake that was quickly corrected went global and brought me to the old familiar responses of anger and condemnation from my past before being in Christ.
Luckily, my wife was quick to point out that I had taken her joke badly and my mistake was corrected but inside a part of me was condemning myself for making the mistake and causing me to wonder if I should ever have gotten married again in the first place. Maybe, I was the same mess I always was and was best to be left alone.
No sooner did we get past this little misunderstanding when a couple of days later, I reacted rudely to my wife Thursday morning, as I felt pressed for time before work and unceremoniously said goodbye to her in a curt and dismissive manner, that I almost immediately regretted and later apologized for.
She admitted the way I had treated her did hurt her feelings, but she accepted my apology, but inside I was in full blown condemnation mode and was fully convinced that I was incapable of maintaining a loving relationship and should have never gotten married again. Again, I had suffered a total global melt down.
This is a big hint for all of us. If things get blown out of proportion to the point that we see nothing as good and ourselves as absolute failures we have to realize that we are believing lies. We are probably over-tired because our normal capacities for patiently dealing with stress have been compromised and we feel we are in opposition to the world at large and the very people in our lives that we love the most. The mole hills of our problems have become mountains and the spring of hope has suddenly gone to the winter of our discontent.
The feelings of condemnation had me ready to withdraw and pull away from my wife and isolate from her in some misguided attempt to stop the damage to our relationship.
That’s the wrong way to go, as an encourager of other’s attempts to deal with their personal and spiritual conflicts I know the remedy to imbalances between people is forgiveness and cooperation not withdrawing and isolating from one another.
So over the weekend, I fought those old patterns that would send me “ to the basement” of my emotions and keep me in the self-imposed proverbial “doghouse” of condemnation and instead drew close to my wife and was open and honest in the confessions of all that was going in in my head and heart. Together we assured each other of our love and forgiveness for one another and resolved the issue that my misunderstandings and lack of rest had created.
The most important part of “fixing this problem” was for me to truly accept my wife’s forgiveness and to forgive myself for my mistakes and to realize that those old patterns of reactivity were part of my old relationships and from the person who didn’t have the hope of Christ in his life.
Through Christ, I have been forgiven of all my sins and have been given a new life. If God has forgiven me of everything I have ever done or will do, I should forgive others and I should give myself a break when I make a mistake and forgive myself too.
When I realized that I had slipped back into condemnation, I realized that I was under stress but also was most likely under a spiritual attack. The enemy loves to accuse us and condemn us, and I think my bad responses may have been a combination of stress, old patterns of fear and condemnation arising from the dead, and the enemy whispering in my ear.
The good news is that whatever caused my going astray doesn’t matter, the remedy was and always will be to stand on who I am in Christ and to follow the word of God for my life as a disciple of Christ.
So if you made a mistake over the weekend, don’t run from it. Stop turn around, admit your wrong, seek forgiveness, and remind yourself of who you are in Christ. In Him we are forgiven, and we are complete. We just have to keep walking and talking with God because if we do that continually, He will never let us go astray for long and His voice will guide us back in the way we should go and into the love, peace, and joy that is available in His presence.
Today’s Bible verse comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verse is :
Romans 3:25 (NLT2)
25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past,
Today’s Bible verse speaks of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and how we are made right with God when we believe in Him.
This is the game changer, guys. The world makes us earn everything we get. There is no such as a free lunch, right?
Well, the kingdom of God isn’t like that. We can’t pay God back for our sins. Our sins demand the death penalty, and we only have one life to live for the multitude of sins that we do in our lives. Our good deeds are like filthy rags and are insufficient for our atonement. There is just no way we can pay for our sins and be made right with God through our own efforts.
But God made a way when there was no way, through faith in Jesus Christ alone we can be forgiven of our sins.
God is kind and gracious and will hold back the penalty of our sins if we just do one thing. If we just let go of our attempts to be made right with God through our own efforts and instead believe and put our faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior we will be forgiven. We will made right with God. We will receive and be sealed by the Holy Spirit. We will be given a new and eternal life. We will become children of God. And we will be forever in God’s kingdom.
To let go and let God means to accept Jesus Christ for our salvation and to live according to His ways. We surrender our life for His and our ways for His ways.
God so loved the world that He gave us Jesus. And now it’s our turn, to so love Him that we accept His grace and live our life for Him.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support his work. This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.
F. What Will Let You Experience Lasting Freedom in Your Life?
The truth is … you can be set free from your fixation on food, but even more importantly, you can be set free to become all that God created you to be. Jesus is your divine Deliverer, who paid the price for your sins, cutting off the chains of harmful habits like compulsive overeating so that you can experience lasting freedom.
God’s Word tells us that freedom … leads to praise.…
“Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name.”
4 Points of God’s Plan
#1 God’s Purpose for You … is Salvation.
— What was God’s motivation in sending Christ to earth?
To express His love for you by saving you! The Bible says …
“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:16–17).
— What was Jesus’ purpose in coming to earth?
To forgive your sins, to empower you to have victory over sin, and to enable you to live a fulfilled life! Jesus said …
“I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 NKJV).
#2 Your Problem … is Sin.
— What exactly is sin?
Sin is living independently of God’s standard—knowing what is right, but choosing what is wrong. The Bible says …
“If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them” (James 4:17).
— What is the major consequence of sin?
Spiritual death, eternal separation from God. Scripture states …
“Your iniquities [sins] have separated you from your God.… The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 6:23).
#3 God’s Provision for You … is the Savior.
— Can anything remove the penalty for sin?
Yes! Jesus died on the cross to personally pay the penalty for your sins. The Bible says …
“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
— What is the solution to being separated from God?
Belief in (entrusting your life to) Jesus Christ as the only way to God the Father. Jesus says …
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.… Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved …” (John 14:6; Acts 16:31).
#4 Your Part … is Surrender.
— Give Christ control of your life—entrusting yourself to Him.…
“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross [die to your own self-rule] and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?’ ” (Matthew 16:24–26).
— Place your faith in (rely on) Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior and reject your “good works” as a means of earning God’s approval.…
“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9).
The moment you choose to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior—entrusting your life to Him—His Spirit lives inside you. Then He gives you His power to live the fulfilled life God has planned for you. If you want to be fully forgiven by God and become the person God created you to be, you can tell Him in a simple, heartfelt prayer like this:
Prayer of Salvation
“God, I want a real relationship with You.
I admit that many times I’ve chosen to go my own way instead of Your way.
Please forgive me for my sins.
Jesus, thank You for dying on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins.
Come into my life to be my Lord and my Savior.
Change me from the inside out and make me the person
You created me to be.
In Your holy name I pray. Amen.”
What Can You Now Expect?
With the Lord in your life, you can trust that even when you feel weak, you will have His supernatural power working in you to make you strong.
If you sincerely prayed this prayer, look at how God says He will work in your life!
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9)
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship
 June Hunt, Biblical Counseling Keys on Overeating: Freedom from Food Fixation (Dallas, TX: Hope For The Heart, 2008), 24–26.