Often when we think about related topics in the scripture, or in life for that matter, we think about joy and happiness, peace and calm, or trust and faith. These are synonyms which highlight their ‘relatedness.’ But opposites can be in the same family as well. Last Sunday, as I was speaking to 2nd service, the Holy Spirit dropped a truth into my spirit – which I spoke about briefly during the sermon, and I’ve continued to ponder it all week. The thing God spoke to me was – though perhaps considered opposites, pride and condemnation are related. They are in the same family – they are sisters.
I have met a lot of people recently who struggle with condemnation. They feel worthless and insignificant. Satan highlights their failures, reminding them again and again of their shortcomings. Comparing themselves to others, those who struggle with condemnation often seem to come up short, at least in their own minds. They beat themselves up – sometimes thinking that’s what God wants.
But, it’s not! God made us in His image. As such, we have worth and significance because we are children of God. All of us fail at times, but God’s promise is that He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it. Philippians 1:6
I would urge you to stop comparing yourself to others. The Scripture says, “ Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.” Galatians 6:4 NLT God made each of us unique with different giftings and different talents. “God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.” Romans 12:6 NLT Each us of has a unique assignment in life. Purpose in your heart to use whatever gifts God has given you to build His kingdom. Don’t let condemnation steal how God wants to use you.
And consider this – if you struggle a lot with condemnation – take a look at the pride in your life. It is very possible that pride has a bigger voice than you might suspect. Think about it this way. If you turn the pride dial of life a half-turn, pride changes to condemnation. Said another way, they are opposite sides of the same coin. I’m convinced that those who struggle a lot with condemnation also struggle with pride – though they may not know it. See, though pride and condemnation are in the same family, they are uniquely different. Pride is something that is often hidden – we see everyone else’s, but we are blinded to our own. Condemnation, on the other hand, we sense so clearly, we feel so deeply. Yet, other people have no clue of our struggle with self-doubt and self-censure.
As such, God may be allowing you to hear the voices of condemnation to expose the voice of pride that you may not so easily hear. Repent of pride. Repent of condemnation. Neither one of these emotions are God-honoring. Neither please Him. And remember – If you don’t live by the praises of men, you won’t die by their criticisms.