"Brothers and sisters: Now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Romans 8:1
How great is that?!!! When we are in Christ, we don’t have to worry about ending up in hell. If we could keep that bit of information always first in our thoughts, I think we would be a lot happier. The day-to-day stuff that drags us down and the normal problems of living wouldn’t have as much power over us if we could remember that it’s all going to work out in the end.
The Catholic Church is famous for "catholic guilt". I remember being told in catechism that if we committed a serious sin, that we would need to confess it over and over, "just to be sure". What kind of nonsense is that? When we confess a sin, and are truly sorry, God forgives us and that’s that! "I will forgive their evil-doing and remember their sin no more." Jer 31:34b Someone once said that God throws our sins into the ocean and then posts a sign that says: "No Fishing".
God may forget, but we remember, and it’s easy to continue to feel bad for what we’ve done, even after we’ve been forgiven. That’s what condemnation does. It makes us believe that there’s no hope for us; that God can’t forgive us; that we can never be good enough to make it; or that we can never change. But the opposite is true.
In Christ we are redeemed, not condemned! First we need to learn to forgive ourselves when we mess up, and humbly receive God’s forgiveness. Secondly, we need to stay close to the Lord and try to see all things in the light of eternity. Our time here is nothing compared to forever, so let’s press on to the glory that awaits us when our journey here is through!
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. Janice also leads women’s retreats. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Visit Janice’s website at http://www.jcarleton.com/ or email her at [email protected]/org