During the Daniel Fast we spend time examining our hearts and work to align our ways with the way of the Lord.
The other morning during my daily quiet time, I found I was doing a good job of “beating myself up.” Have you been there? My guess is that you have. So often we are our biggest critics! So I was feeling pretty frustrated with myself and kind of low.
Then I heard the Lord say in my spirit, “I only correct – I don’t condemn.”
Oh, that was a huge message with loads of truth in it. I meditated on that message for a while and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. And I’ve come to realize that the differences between correction and condemnation really show up the way our Lord works with us and the way the enemy tries to steal, kill and destroy us!
Think about the meaning and purpose of correction. When pilots correct their course while in flight, it’s because they are not aligned with the direction necessary to reach the desired destination. So they make a few changes and get back on the proper flight path.
When parents or teachers correct children it’s to instruct them of the right way to behave so the child can have success.
Proverbs 3:12 says, “For whom the LORD loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.”
Correction is all part of reaching success. It’s necessary and part of growth. Correction is life-giving and filled with hope and care.
First Peter 5:10 teaches us, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” Sometimes our “suffering” is the correcting and learning process – but all along we are on our way to good results!
Hebrews 12:9-10 reads, “Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.”
We want correction from our Lord and we want to keep our hearts open to His chastening. Correction is moving forward to better results. It’s full of love, life and care.
But condemnation is totally different. Condemnation is what the enemy does to make us feel worthless, low and defeated. And we want to guard our minds and heart from his death-giving ways! Condemnation partners with shame, sorrow, self-loathing. It can paralyze us and keep us stuck. Satan’s condemnation is what Christ abolished for us!
Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Romans 5:18-19
So the next time you are feeling bad about yourself . . . or when you’re picking yourself up from a fall . . . checkout what’s going on in your thoughts. Are you feeling condemned or are you being corrected. Then choose life and grow rather than be defeated and stuck!
I hope this helps! Our God is so good!