November 7, 2017

When You’re Most Vulnerable to Condemnation

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 7, 2017

By Shana Schutte

The accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. (Revelation 12:10b)

My grandmother once told me that during the time of log cabins, before hospitals, family members died at home. If you’ve ever been around someone who’s at death’s door, you know that the smell of death often precedes death. Grandma said that when this smell caught the attention of wolves, they crouched, scratched, and howled at the door of the cabin, trying to get in at the exact moment of vulnerability.

This reminds me of how it can be in life when we experience a disappointment, a hardship, a difficult moment, or even when we innocently make a mistake. It’s at these moments that condemning thoughts are like wolves that crouch at the door of our hearts—at just the right time when we’re most vulnerable to believing Satan’s lies.

“When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44).

Years ago, I attended a bible study during which one of the women present spoke ill of me while we were all gathered in a circle. I was new to the group and I didn’t know anyone, so naturally, I was embarrassed and humiliated. Looking back, I can’t even remember exactly what she said, but whatever it was, it hurt. I was so humiliated, in fact, that I raced to the bathroom and knelt on the floor and sobbed.

In those moments while I cried, I asked for God’s comfort and a phrase kept passing through my mind, “Your heart is bad.” Over and over. “Your heart is bad. Your heart is bad.” I don’t even remember what the woman said that would have made me vulnerable to such condemnation, but there it was and it hurt.

In retrospect I am reminded of a valuable lesson: we are especially vulnerable to accusation and condemnation during difficult moments, just as the dying in days gone by were vulnerable to wolves during difficult moments. So, it’s at these times that we must be mindful of our adversary’s lies and intentionally grab onto God’s truth lest we travel down a path of deception.

Do you remember when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness? It was when Jesus was vulnerable after Christ had been in the wilderness for forty days and nights. Jesus was vulnerable and Satan knew it. When it comes to temptation and accusation, the phrase, “Timing is everything” definitely applies.

In these moments if we know we are vulnerable, then we will be mindful not to filter out the thoughts that come and reject the lies that don’t align with God’s truth.  

When thoughts of condemnation such as, “You’re a failure”, “You’ll never amount to anything”, “You can’t love”,  “God doesn’t love you”, “You’re pathetic”, “There’s no way God will forgive you”, or even “Your heart is bad” come, we can refute lies with God’s truth, just as Jesus did.

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work” (1 John 3:8b).

 

Prayer

Jesus, please make me mindful to reject lies in my vulnerable moments and instead, embrace your truth. Amen.

Application

Think back to a time when you were hurt, embarrassed, sinned, or made a mistake. What thoughts were you thinking and what did you choose to believe? Reject any lies that didn’t align with God’s truth and accept what God says.

Related Reading

Matthew 4:3; Matthew 4:1-11; Psalm 136:26

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In vulnerable times, we must be mindful of our mind's deception. #WisdomHunters #SayNotoCondemnation

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