I’m reading the most amazing book right now: Raising World Changers in a Changing World by Kristen Welch, founder of the We Are THAT Family blog and Mercy House Global (incredible book…preorder it, read it, share it!). She is an incredible woman and world changer, a woman who gave God a brokenhearted yes and never turned back. A woman God is using in mighty and incredible ways to change countless lives and influence countless more, including mine.
But can I just confess something to you? Can I give you a glimpse of what happens in my head (a very dangerous neighborhood for sure…ha!) when I read about incredible people like Kristen who are doing incredible things for the kingdom? I walk right into the familiar trap of comparison. A spirit of despair and condemnation sneaks in, and before I know it, I am thinking and acting from a place of not enough.
I’m not doing enough.
Even worse, I turn my eyes on my husband and family and decide they’re not doing enough either. In comparison to what God has others doing and what He is accomplishing in and through them, whatever we’re doing is not enough, because my eyes are on someone other than Christ and what He has given us to do. And I begin thinking I need to live another person’s calling because my calling isn’t enough.
What a trap!
I could go a million different directions from here, and I might in the coming days, weeks and months. But today, I want to share with you the tender, loving way the Lord made me aware of the fact that the voice I was listening to as I read Kristen’s book was not His or even hers: it was the voice of condemnation, which is straight from the pit of hell! It is a trap to paralyze me in the very moment the Lord wants to stir my heart to be more like Christ, which is the message of Kristen’s book: Jesus is the most generous giver and world changer; in Him, we are to be generous givers and world changers, too!
I’m so thankful to the Lord that whenever He reveals sin in me, He follows it with a truth from His word, and this is the scripture He brought to mind:
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1).
It was as if the Lord was speaking right to my discontent, discouraged and disappointed heart, saying:
Shauna, that condemnation? It’s not from Me.
Even if I feel condemnation, there is no condemnation for me because I am in Christ! That’s incredible news!
However!!! There is CONVICTION.
I’m convicted of the fact that I’m comparing myself to others and distracted from Jesus’ calling for me, but I am not condemned.
I’m convicted of the ways I’ve been trying to live another person’s calling, but I am not condemned.
I’m convicted of the ways I am disobeying God because I’m comparing and distracted, but I am not condemned.
I am convicted of apathy, laziness and idolatry and how it keeps me from doing all God asks of me, but I am not condemned.
Do you see the difference?
And here’s how God is teaching me to recognize condemnation:
Condemnation results in self-hatred and paralyzing defeat (it’s of the devil and the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy);
Conviction brings life, because Jesus – the Word – is the way, the truth and the life (Jesus has come to give us life and to give it to us abundantly).
Okay, so it would be awesome if I could say I immediately corrected myself with the truth of scripture. Not so. I stayed in that place of comparison, distraction and condemnation for weeks! But God is faithful and His word is alive and powerful, and He kept reminding me:
There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Take the conviction, but leave the condemnation, and obey Me.
In the interest of your time, I’ll end today’s post here, but I’ll share a little more of this conversation with the Lord tomorrow if you’d like to come back!