If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 1 John 1:8
I never had this problem of claiming to be without sin. I have always had a strong conscience to the point that I know I look guilty even if I am telling the truth. Can I have a witness? Daily, confession starts my day, my prayer before meals includes “forgive me where I have failed you,” and if I know I have offended someone I am praying asking for forgiveness before sleep and often asking for forgiveness of the person.
Most of my life I ‘ve followed Jesus closely, however, I distanced myself from the Lord during a season of discontent with my husband with sheer overwhelming feelings of hate when I had been married twenty-five years. I’m in college for my nursing degree, unhappy in my marriage, feeling the Lord hadn’t answered my prayers, swamped with homework and raising two children. I let go of my beautiful close walk with Jesus. What does this look like? The spiral started with excuses I quit going to church in lieu of studying. Next, I stopped Bible Study Fellowship due to conflict of class scheduling. Personal quiet time the last to go silently slipped away as the hate increases in my marriage. To add to the busy, I find a job as a heart technician at the hospital part-time. I decided divorce God’s will as soon as I graduate from nursing school. When I graduate, I separated from my husband for four months, but the saying “the grass was not greener on the other side,” so true. So we, reconciled.
Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. Romans 8:1-2
Choices that we make often have consequences. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” But the antidote in James 4:7-8, “Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
Beloved, those of us with Christ as our Savior, are free from condemnation. Condemnation means condemning someone to a strong punishment or very strong disapproval. You see dear one, in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Christ is our condemnation. Yes, sometimes we do suffer consequences of our choices, but condemnation is not from God it is from Satan. Conviction is from the Holy Spirit. I believe that the Holy Spirit will not let a true believer continue in sin. He did not let me stay separated long from Jesus.
Beloved, we are to love our God with all our heart, soul and mind. We love God because he first loved us. Even though I reconciled with Doug, I still felt condemnation for the time away and the choices I made during this time period. So when I heard and attended a class from Dr. Neil Anderson on Freedom in Christ where I learned that conviction’s from God and condemnation’s from Satan, I finally forgave myself. 1 John 1:9 says, if we confess our sins Jesus is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. So who am I to call God a liar?