The recent suicide of a well known movie star brought again the grim face of stardom to light. His death revived the discussion around depression, condemnation and suicide. There have been numerous instances of well known cine stars taking the extreme step since they could not face the harsh realities of the world and found taking one’s life as the easiest way out.

We live in an era where everyone loves to play the blame game. Accusing, blaming and condemning someone is so easy and convenient in today’s time, we don’t even have to be face to face with the person whom we want to blame, all we need to do is judge them & tarnish their image on social media. We do this least realizing the kind of emotional turmoil the person would go through.

No matter how much we may try to show ourselves as strong and untouched by these things there comes a time when even our own being starts to believe it and condemns us. This is the worst stage possible for anyone when he starts to believe that he is at fault and there is no way out of it even if he repents.

While it may be true in cases where one has committed a heinous crime for which he has to bear the consequences but a lot of times things can be corrected if only one knows the truth, the truth about God and His unconditional love, truth about how He alone can change lives if we surrender ourselves in His hand.

Jesus says in John 12:47b, “for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”

Let’s look at two contrasting examples from the Bible to understand how the feeling of being  condemned may not necessarily be the end of the road.

First example is of Judas Iscariot. He is infamous in the Bible for betraying Jesus Christ to the Jews for 30 pieces of silver. We all know his story about how he was the keeper of the purse and stole from it. He was amongst the twelve disciples of Jesus yet his heart was not completely with him. it was ultimately his greed which made him betray Jesus.

But we sometimes miss how his story ended. Let’s revisit Mathews 27, 3 – 5, “[3] Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, [4] Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. [5] And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.”

Judas had repented however he felt condemned and did not believe that there was any scope of forgiveness. This feeling of condemnation was so strong that it ultimately prompted him to take his own life. The bitter condemnation of his doing was so strong that he went ahead and hung himself.

The second example is of Peter, the one who denied Jesus three times as per Bible. Luke 22: 54 – 62 tells us this incident. “[54] Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest’s house. And Peter followed afar off. [55] And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. [56] But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. [57] And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. [58] And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. [59] And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. [60] And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. [61] And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. [62] And Peter went out, and wept bitterly.”

Peter was also in the same situation as Judas, he denied knowing Jesus thrice just as Jesus had said and to add to that the moment, he had denied Jesus the third time Jesus turned and looked at him!

One can only imagine what Peter must have felt at that moment. His heart would have condemned him even more than Judas and he went out and wept bitterly. He knew he had made a mistake, but he believed on Jesus and continued with the other disciples. For him ending his life was not the solution. He knew he had in a way also ‘betrayed’ Jesus but somehow, he knew that Jesus would not condemn him forever. It gave Peter the grace to keep pressing forward and was entrusted to take care of the flock by Jesus.

Many a times when we stumble or do something wrong and our hearts condemn us, we also have a choice either to behave like Judas or like Peter. We can either chose to suffocate in condemnation or seek forgiveness from Jesus.

Whenever faced with such a dilemma, read Romans 8:1 – 2 which says, “[1] There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. [2] For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

John Wesley rightly said:

Christ has once again made you free from the power of sin, as well as from its guilt and punishment. So do not become entangled again in the yoke of bondage…. If you have stumbled O, seeker of God, do not just lie there fretting and bemoaning your weakness! Patiently pray; ‘Lord, I acknowledge that every moment I would be stumbling if you were not upholding me and then get up! leap! Walk! Go on your way.

I don’t know what you are struggling with today, the good news is that the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all unrighteousness.

Let’s be like Peter, keeping our focus only on the author and perfecter of your faith. Who alone gives us the hope to never give up and start all over again. Just one condition don’t make sinning a habit and take God’s forgiveness as a ticket to sin freely, knowing that He will still forgive.  

Get out of the snares of the evil one. Stop condemning yourself, step out of your guilt trip and be a person of a divine destiny which God has planned for you.   

God bless you!

Ransomed by His blood

Your sister in Christ

Prateeksha