Help For The Self-Condemning Heart

What does your heart say? If you are like most others, you may struggle with a self-condemning heart that is shrouded in negative thoughts, gloomy outlooks, and visions of defeat. There is help for the self-condemning heart!

The Enemy doesn’t want us to live with freedom, joy or a light heart. Far from it, he wants us to be weighed down with guilt, pain, regret, and sin. He will take every opportunity to remind us of our failings…and we have them, a lot of them. We fail daily. We are fragile humans in a fallen world dealing with the daily struggle of life.

Every day is a battle. Sometimes it’s easy to see, raging around us, vying for our attention, harassing us at every turn. Other times it’s a subtle oppression that weighs us down, and nearly becomes unnoticeable because we become so used to carrying the weight of it every day.

Our heart speaks to us on a daily basis. It whispers the ‘remember when’ and the ‘you should’ve but you didn’t’. It drags up past failures, the moments of weakness and anger that later brought shame and it puts them front and center in our mind’s eye, reminding us of how pitiful we are and saying things like, “you’re worthless”, “you’re beyond help”, “you’re pathetic” and sadly, we begin to buy into this as our ‘truth’ and believe that it defines us.

Our heart can drive us into the ground and make us weak and ineffective, essentially crippled by our past failures. This is exactly what the Enemy wants. If he can make us ineffective, then we’re not a threat. 

What does the Bible say about a self-condemning heart?

Here’s the thing we need to understand. Our hearts lie. 

Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”

The bigger question is who holds our heart? Who do we really belong to?

1 John 3:19-20 “This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence. If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.”

Did you see that? We can set our hearts at rest in his presence!! Stop and think about that. What would that feel like…to have a heart at rest …in God’s presence?

Check out that second part….”if our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts and he knows everything.” He Knows. He Knows Everything. He knows what we’ve done and said. He knows our thoughts and regrets. And He KNOWS his children. We belong to Him! He knows it all and He still wants us! He loves us in spite of our past. Jesus died to wipe all of that sin and guilt away. Jesus rose again to show His victory and power over every force of evil. If we continue to dwell in the messaging our hearts are feeding us, we’re giving the Enemy a foothold and we’re living like Christ’s sacrifice wasn’t enough

But, His sacrifice was. It is. It always will be enough.

Here’s the grand finale!

1 John 3:21 “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.” 

Confidence! Can you imagine having confidence before God? 

Knowing that your weakness and your past failings don’t define you, but that God’s forgiveness and acceptance defines you as his child? Redeemed! Beloved!

How do you rewire the messaging from your heart?

 1)Take time every day to spend in God’s presence. 

Read the Word. Learn His precepts and be reminded of His promises. If you belong to the Truth, you need to know that Truth. Soak it in and be at rest in His presence.

2) Pray. 

Just talk to the Lord as you would a friend. Tell him what burdens your heart. Ask Him to help you, encourage you and strengthen you.

3) Remember, God is big.

God is greater than your heart, greater than your past, and greater than your failings and weaknesses. We have a Champion, a Conqueror who is mighty to save. Jesus died to make the Enemy powerless. Nothing is stronger than He is. Nothing.

Jesus is the Way the Truth and the Life.

He is the Way to redemption from sin and reconciliation with God.

He is the Truth, the Truth that decimates the lies of the Enemy.

He is the Life, eternal life in the presence of God, filled with freedom and joy.  

Is your heart condemning you? God is greater than your heart.

7 Bible Verses to Help a Self-Condemning Heart

  • Psalm 61:2: “When my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”
  • Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
  • Romans 6:6: “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”
  • Colossians 3:2: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
  • Isaiah 26:3: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
  • Romans 12:1-2: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
  • Psalm 119:15: “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”
Meet the author

Brenda Reid

Brenda is the consummate extrovert and joyful enthusiast who has a passion to see others love Jesus deeply and authentically. She values deep conversations, especially if they include a good cup of coffee and she craves that sharpening that comes when believers dig deep into the Word to learn and discuss together. Brenda writes and manages the Join the PAC: Praying for our Adult Children blog and authored Without Ceasing: Boldly Praying Scripture for the Next Generation.

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