Questions & Answers
Q: If , by becoming a Christian, all my past sins are forgiven, why am I even now still living with the consequences of my past? Why doesn’t God just fix all my consequences?
A: Consequences are part of God’s redemption. Consequences are not punishment. The punishment for sin is eternal death, and the blood of Jesus paid that price so that we will live with Him forever. As a Christ person, our behavior begins to change, and one of the main agents of change is learning from our consequences within the loving context of God’s grace.
Consequences are the fruit of choices. They are the cause and effect factors that shape the course of our lives. Sometimes the effects of sin can be repaired by making amends for what we did wrong–like returning something we have stolen or replacing something we have broken. But often, long-term sin patterns have done so much damage to our lives and the lives of others that they cannot be fixed or "lived over again" It is painful to live with the realization that our sin could cause so much hurt, but that pain is meant by God to be a tremendous motivator to never repeat those sins. We receive by faith that all our sins are forgiven and our consequences are a means by which we now grow in grace.
Q: The Bible says we should not judge others and only God is the Judge (James 4:11-12); but I judge almost everyone I know in my head. How can I stop this?
A: Because God is the only sinless, blameless person in the universe, only He has the authority to rightly judge sin. If you are judging others, you are seeing yourself as better than others. This is a result of resentment and dissatisfaction towards God. This resentment and dissatisfaction is acted out against other human beings and yourself.
The problem with placing yourself above others is that it is done at another’s expense and is the sin of pride. You see, even though you think you are judging those around you "in your head," your believing is also being acted out by you in your attitude toward others. Most of us assume that others view us the same way we view them. But this is not so when resentments "filter" our view of reality. When we continue to assume that our view of others is normal, while our seeing is contaminated with pride and resentment, then the very things we are doing to others are what we assume is being done to us. When you act defensive and selfish, based on your fear of judgement, you stop viewing others as precious vessels and rather see them as threatening, "non-humans"
But, because you are Christ in your form (if you are a Christian), you don’t need a mechanism to make yourself feel better than those around you or to justify yourself. We are all simply vessels that are no better or worse than another, and that either contain Christ or Satan. So, when faced with feelings of judgment or temptation to judge someone, you can choose to believe the truth that, as Christ in your form, you are safe in God’s perfect circumstances and situation for both of you. Furthermore, you can be safe to be a "for-others," Christ person in the life of whomever God has you encounter.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 11 No 1
- God’s Obsession
- Editor’s Note
- British Update
- Moments with Meryl
- Excerpts from The Intercession of Rees Howells
- Get-together in New York
- Our Weakness Is Our Glory
- The Divine Intercessor
- Straight and Narrow and Uphill
- The Letter to the Romans
- To Think About
- Struggle of Romans Seven
- Questions & Answers
- The Only Two Natures
- God’s Promises
- The Mailbox
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- A Look at a Book
- From God Unlimited
- Words to Live By