Romans 8:1-2 (New International Version)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.
Many times we find ourselves accusing and condemning others not because of what they did but because of something amiss inside of us.
Perhaps we notice an unattractive quality in the other person that we are ashamed to acknowledge in ourselves, and we are quick to criticize it. We may carry secret guilt over an act we regret, and we lash out at others because facing our own sin is too painful. Or someone’s words might touch on a tender, unhealed injury from our past, triggering our angry, defensive reaction.
It’s good news for us that following Jesus frees us not only from eternal condemnation and death but also from making false assumptions and condemnations that arise from our flawed and wounded selves. Putting on the nature of Christ corrects the distortions we impose on each other in our attempt to protect our fragile egos and wounded hearts.
Living free in the Spirit gives us hope for our relationships. Through the gifts of God’s grace and clarifying love, we can see ourselves and others more realistically and generously and let go of unnecessary defenses and the need to condemn.
FATHER, how grateful I am that you do not delight in condemning me but rather in saving me and showing me the path to peace. Give me wisdom to recognize when conflicts in my life have roots in my own flaws, guilt, or memories of a hurtful past. Teach me how to trust you so deeply and completely that I no longer need defensive strategies to feel safe and can afford to be generous and loving with those who offend me.
John 8:36; Proverbs 29:22
What particular quality of Jesus would help you to avoid unnecessary conflict in your life? Ask God to grow that quality in you.