Posted in Personal Posts

Regarding Cons, Condemnation, and Fear

As I have grown older, I have learnt a few things. For instance, I’ve learnt that most of the things that I’ve heard, are absolute cons. For instance, I have heard it said that “God helps those who helps themselves”. This is a con. In His word, God is the God delights in helping those who are helpless and depending on Him (Psalm 50: 15, Isaiah 25:4, Romans 5:6). The problem with this con is that when we feel helpless, we end up feeling condemned about going to God in our helplessness. We end up trying to get help elsewhere before going to God. And this leaves us frustrated, depressed and even more desperate in our circumstances than we were, because now we have the added problem of self-condemnation.

Which brings me to another con; condemnation. Condemnation has been the biggest con of all, in my life. You know that feeling, when you feel that you should have done something, or the feeling that you shouldn’t have done something? That nagging feeling of guilt that grips you and for a minute there, it feels so devastatingly dire? Well, it turns out that ‘There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). This includes condemnation in all its forms; including, feeling condemned about everyday things as well. Like condemning oneself because you passed by your neighbour without saying ‘hi’, or feeling condemned because you didn’t respond to a client’s email with as much promptness as you’d have intended, or condemned because you had too much coffee, or had a snack when you’d purposed to incorporate more fruits and veggies in your diet, or feeling condemned because you didn’t accomplish all the items on your to-do list, or self-condemnation because you feel that you should have…, or shouldn’t have… {fill in the blanks}

I thought that I had a pretty good handle on the whole not-feeling-condemned thing, until a couple of days ago when I caught myself lying about where I live. And I didn’t even lie too convincingly. What bothered me (post-lying) wasn’t even the lie itself, but the reason why I felt the need to lie. You see, recent events (and when I say ‘recent’ I mean that if I told the story of these events, it would span over the past 8 months)… Anyway, recent events have meant that I had to move house-and-neighburhood to a significantly lower-rent one. And I thought that I was totally cool with this. It turns out that I really wasn’t because if I had been, I wouldn’t have felt the need to lie about it!

On further examining the lie, I realized that it was an issue of performance. I realized that I told the lie based on what I thought she would think of me if I told her the truth, or based on what I thought she would not think of me. Armed with this realization, I chatted with one of my closest friends today and updated her about my move…and alas! the sky did not fall.

I am a performer. The fact that I work as a writer is testament to this. I like to give people what they want to see; I just hadn’t thought that this had seeped into my perceptions about other people’s perceptions of my life. So, my challenge to myself is to hide no longer. To tell the truth about things like these, even when I’m fearful of the outcome (and I am!).

Yesterday, a close friend told me that it’s best to take the jump in the very instance that you’re feeling fearful. Her approach is this: the fear isn’t going to go away anyway, so rather than postpone or hide from the jump, just jump; and trust that God is carrying you. Always.

Your Take-home:

  • Whenever you feel condemned, ponder on the fact that Christ bore all of that condemnation on the cross for you, so that you wouldn’t have to carry it. Don’t let condemnation (coming from yourself or anyone else) bring you into despair.
  • Eliminate the phrases ‘should have’ and ‘shouldn’t have’ from your vocabulary. These phrases focus on hypotheticals and often bring us into a feeling of condemnation. We’re here, now. Be present.
  • Take action even when you’re fearful; trusting that God is with you and in you; carrying you at all times.


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