So now there is NO condemnation...

Condemnation.  How often to we look in the mirror and see a broken image of what we'd hoped to be reflected?  People will hang condemnation of all kinds on you - there's little you can do about that.  But what you can do something about is how you respond, and how you see yourself.

When we buy into the lies of condemnation, we're doomed.  Condemnation tells us that we can't change, we can't be changed, and nothing will ever change.

Condemnation lies.  Jesus changes everything!

It's true that in your own strength and intellect and goodness, that you may never force the change in your life that you know full-well needs to happen.  And maybe that's the point.  When I DYI spirituality and emotional health, I continue to see myself as a fixer-upper.

Romans 8 begins with the proclamation, "So now there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus!"  So, if God doesn't condemn us,why do we accept the lies of self-condemnation to penetrate our hearts and dominate our thoughts?  Could it be that we listen to what others say about us instead of what God says to us?

In the past I've certainly had my struggles with low self-image.  Like many others, I accepted the "norms" as portrayed in media as goals to be achieved in order to be happy.  The problem, I discovered, is that these "norms" are unrealistic.  It's called "entertainment" and "acting" for a reason.  And when I look in the mirror, there are no filters for the image, there is no make-up artist to mask the flaws, there is no air-brushing technique to employ, there is no perfect lighting and camera angles to make me appear younger, thinner, smarter.

There's just me.  And when did being just me become a source of condemnation?

When I read the Bible, I find that when God looks at me (which is all the time), He sees His Son.  I'm covered by Christ and His righteousness becomes my righteousness!  "This is my child, in whom I find great joy!"  That's who I've learned to see in the mirror, and as a child of God, seeing His love for me, I've been learning that He can and does change me - sometimes the change is in outward appearance, but most often it's inside.  Inside is where the real and lasting change needs to take place anyway.

Something I've learned along the way is the principle of affirmation.  Basically, when I use my words and body language to affirm, encourage, and build others up, I begin to be more open to positivity and less susceptible to negativity.  Using positive words and energy overcomes the potential destruction of the negative.

This week, use your words and body language to encourage others and affirm them as God's loved children.  Ask God to help you see others how He sees them, then ask Him to help you see yourself as He does as well.  Take note of the difference encouraging others makes in your own life.


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