It’s interesting how much condemnation has been going on lately. From just about all sides of all the major issues of the day, you hear messages swiftly condemning actions and sentiments deemed unacceptable.
People have a love/hate relationship with condemnation.
On the one hand, when you see and hear about things that are so bad, how can you not criticize? How can you look at the worst acts of humanity and say that things are still okay? They’re not. They’re horrible. They must be condemned.
At the same time, when you look at all the judgment and hateful noise in our world, you can’t help but also want all the condemnation to just stop. Stop the constant bickering. Stop the pejorative attitudes. Give a little bit of grace to those who think or act differently.
The trouble with condemnation is that people are far too inconsistent. Condemnations come when it’s convenient, and they’re withheld when it hits too close to home.
Do you know who’s really good at condemnation? God is. God never, ever lets things slide that are not okay. He tells it like it is and refuses to accept the unacceptable in humanity.
At the same time, he doesn’t constantly berate us for our condemnable thoughts and actions. He’s slow to anger. He gives a lot of grace to people who don’t deserve it.
The beauty of God’s condemnation is displayed at the cross of Christ. God unleashed the most horrifying wrath someone could ever experience. It was unfathomable punishment. So much more than nails sticking through Jesus’ hands, he was engulfed by hell’s fury. In your place. In the place of every person on earth. He was condemned, even though he was the only one who was perfectly innocent. God can so say you’re innocent.
What will change the culture of condemnation we see around us? It’s not more judgment. And it’s not more leniency on things that are truly bad. It’s more Jesus. When more people see the cross of Christ—God’s judgment for their failures placed on Jesus, not them—it changes hearts for the better. It changes how we view each other and how we talk about condemnation.
When people start to see themselves as condemned failures who are free and not guilty in God’s sight, they start to see and treat others the same way.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
P.S. If you’d like to explore this concept more, Cross Connections is the perfect class for you. In-person and online options are available. It’s free of charge. Also free of condemnation—because of Jesus.
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