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One of the things I’ve struggled with as a writer is self-condemnation. I’m not a Type A person who is capable of getting a lot done each day, but for some reason I expect myself to be. When I fail to live up to my unrealistic expectations for work, I often slip into self-condemnation mode.
This gets in the way of growing and becoming a more productive person because I’m too busy beating myself up! If you struggle with self-condemnation like I do, today’s episode of the Christian Habits Podcast will help.
Click here to find out how to listen to the podcast.
We’ll be talking about 6 steps to breaking free from self-condemnation and then we’ll use the self-condemnation questions and Bible verses from I Deserve a Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat) and the Renewing of the Mind Project to renew our minds together. Here are the steps we’ll be discussing:
6 Steps to Breaking Free from Self-Condemnation
- Learn to recognize when you’re condemning yourself. Look for it on days of failure.
- Recognize that growth is a process. It takes time, and you’ll never be perfect.
- Hold your goal with open hands. Don’t make it an idol.
- Remember that God is in charge of growth. We have a responsibility to renew our minds and look for practical things we can do to change, but we can’t control how quickly growth happens. That’s up to God. When we realize that we’ll be less likely to condemn ourself and trust in God to change us in His time.
- Walk in the Spirit, not the flesh. We’ll talk about what that looks like on the podcast.
- Be faithful to renew your mind whenever you catch yourself condemning yourself. We’ll do that together on the podcasts. Here are the questions and Bible verses we’ll be using from I Deserve a Donut (And Other Lies That Make You Eat):
Self-Condemnation Journaling Questions
- Why do you think you’re a failure (terrible person, bad Christian, etc.)?
- Does that really make you a failure (terrible person/bad Christian, etc.)? Why or why not? *
- Whose standards are you using to determine whether or not you’re acceptable?
- What does God think of those standards?
- How does God feel about you? (See insecurity verses for ideas.)
- God is not a condemning perfectionist parent. He’s a loving Father who says, “Come to me, my beloved, and let me help.” In what areas do you need help?
- Take some time to ask Him to help you with those areas.
- Is there anything you need to accept?
- Is there anything God wants you to do?
- What can you thank God for in this situation?
* If you’re having a hard time answering this question, look through the insecurity verses and think about grace. If you’re going the bad Christian route, think about the life of David and Romans 3:23.
Self-Condemnation Bible Verses
Psalm 37:23-24 The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
Psalm 145:8, 14 The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord sustains all who fall and raises up all who are bowed down.
Psalm 147:2-3 The Lord builds up Jerusalem; He gathers the outcasts of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.
Isaiah 54:10 “For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Jeremiah 31:20 “Is Ephraim My dear son? Is he a delightful child? Indeed, as often as I have spoken against him, I certainly still remember him; Therefore My heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him,” declares the Lord.
Romans 7:21, 24-25 I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.
Romans 8:1-2 Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
Romans 8:35, 38-39 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Hebrews 4:15-16 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Enjoyed the post.
Barb Raveling says
Bernard! It’s good to see you! And glad you enjoyed the post. :)
TC Avey says
I enjoyed reading this and look forward to listening to the pod cast.
As a perfectionist I struggle with self condemnation when I don’t measure up. Your books have helped me gain insight on my thought processes and are teaching me to see myself through God’s love as I renew my mind through His Word.
Barb Raveling says
That’s great, TC! Life is so much better when we see ourselves through God’s love, isn’t it? Hope you enjoy the podcast!
Nice job on the detailed lesson of condemnation. I think you nailed it with hanging onto all things in this life with an open hand, goals and otherwise. That’s how the things of this world can become idols.
Thanks for the reminder, Barb.
Barb Raveling says
Thanks, Floyd. I just realized I haven’t been getting emails for your blog. I looked for them and they’re going into my spam folder! For some reason a lot of my emails have been doing that lately – also notifications from Twitter and Facebook. Not sure why! I loved your last blog post about the battle for the clean room – so funny!
Dan Black says
“Recognize that growth is a process. It takes time, and you’ll never be perfect.” That is the exact reason why I tell people they must never stop growing themselves. There is always room for improvement. Great post!
Barb Raveling says