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6:05 AM Sat, Nov. 17th

Faith Column: No condemnation for followers

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2

I had a plan. I went to bed with it and woke up with it, and no amount of rain would interfere. I was about to sew window curtains for our new home. I knew exactly how I would carry out my plan, and instead of, "good morning, Darling," when I trounced out of the bedroom to discover my husband seated in his recliner, I thought, why is he still here? The rain had dampened his work plan for the morning, and my godly man sat quietly staring out the window. He thanked God for watering our thirsty desert, and with child-like delight, he roamed the house, standing before each window to drink of the surrounding beauty. When he came to the kitchen, I determined that he was in my way. I said excuse me, but my edgy tone rang louder than the words. I couldn't get a handle on why, instead of savoring these extra moments with my mate, I was so disgruntled. Once I gained prayerful control of my faculties, I put a late breakfast on the table, and as we enjoyed watching the rain mixed with sun, I began to wonder just how happy I'd be with my curtains if my husband were not here to share the joy of God's gifts with me.

As I prayed in rhythm to the hum of the sewing machine, I asked God to bless my efforts, and speculated about asking for divine favor, when earlier I hadn't even favored my own beloved with a hospitable greeting. How dare I ask for anything in that moment? I'll tell you how I dare. It was a struggle, but I did forgive myself. I had apologized and asked forgiveness from God and from my patient husband. God's Word tells me I am forgiven, and I thank Him for His holy sacrifice at the cross, for that precious atoning blood of Jesus Christ. The Lord does not condemn me, and I can stop condemning myself. Does that mean I presume upon His mercy and act however I please? No, it means that as long as I walk in this flesh I'm going to goof up, have troubled moments, and that's why He's given us Jesus.

Next I plan to build a window seat. The rain can interfere all God wants it to, because my curtains will ever remind me of what's really important in my Creator's scheme of things.

If God does not condemn me, why do I condemn myself?

Lord, today I choose to receive your gift of forgiveness for all my transgressions, great or small. Thank you for not condemning me; please help me to stop condemning myself, in the precious name of Jesus.

Adapted from "Finding the Flowers in a Prickly World," by Dianne Finnegan Wilson. You may email Ms. Wilson by visiting pensepublishing.com.