The Danger of Self-Condemnation 

For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things (1 John 3:20 KJV)

It is one thing for God to condemn us as sinners, but quite another for us to condemn ourselves when God does not. This perplexing reality is what John communicated in 1 John 3:20. Let’s explore what self-condemnation is and why it is so detrimental to our well-being and spiritual lives.

To understand self-condemnation, we must first understand how condemnation works. Consider how a criminal is condemned in our court system: someone is accused of breaking the law, assessed for guilt, and if found guilty, the judge pronounces them guilty and declares their punishment. This process of declaring someone guilty and their due punishment is condemnation.

The same principles apply in our relationship with God. However, this devotional focuses on self-condemnation, a subtype of condemnation. It occurs when we take the place of the judge (God) and the judged, find ourselves guilty, and pronounce judgment against ourselves, even when God has not. For instance, we might sin, ask God for forgiveness, and He forgives and cleanses us. Yet, we may struggle to move past shame, guilt, fear, and feelings of unworthiness, even believing that God has rejected us or that we have committed the unpardonable sin.

Why is self-condemnation so poisonous to our spiritual lives? It distorts our understanding of God, erodes our ability to believe Christ’s work, opens us to demonic manipulations and attacks, and makes us suffer unnecessarily for our sins, such as carrying weights of sins, depression, guilt, shame, fear, etc.

For example, one sure way Satan can destroy a ministry is by inducing self-condemnation. There’s no doubt many called by God hide because Satan has trapped them in the prison of self-condemnation, feeling not good enough, etc.

Brethren, open your heart and receive Christ’s work. Your heart should be tender to repent immediately when you sin, but do not open yourself up to self-condemnation. Believe His Word and focus not on yourself.


What is self-condemnation as discussed above?

Apply The Word

Are you struggling with self-condemnation? Sometimes the best way to overcome it is to talk to another believer. Other times, you may need to ask the Spirit to help you avoid the snare of condemning yourself.


Ask the Father to help you not to condemn yourself.

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