Have you ever found yourself creating a personal critique of yourself in your mind? You know, creating a mental list of the mistakes you made on a particular day or even for the past couple of years. I know I have. I would say that I am my own worst critic. A critic is defined as, “a person who expresses an unfavorable opinion of something or someone.”
I don’t think I am alone in this. The Apostle Paul may have at times done the same thing. In Romans 7 he speaks about doing the very thing he hates doing even though his desire is to only do good. He told young Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:15 that, “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” The great Paul, who penned, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, two-thirds of the New Testament called himself the chief of sinners.
Yet, he did not stay in this state of self-condemnation. In spite of his full knowledge of what kind of man he was before Christ and later in Christ he could honestly say, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord…” (Rom 7:24-25) Only through Christ can anyone be free from self-condemnation. But, that begins after a realization of just what a state of helplessness one is in apart from Christ and who one is in Christ. Paul summarized it best only a few verses later, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Rom 8:1)
For me to continue to condemn myself for my past or my present would simply be acting apart from Christ. For in Him, I am justified or declared “not guilty” of my wrong doings. More specifically, anyone in Christ is now seen by the Father as if he/she has never sinned. What a wonderful, amazing, forgiving God! That he should look upon me this way with all my faults, besetting sins, and just plain poor decisions is amazing. I have not completely “arrived” in ceasing to condemn myself, but I continue to pick myself up and keep moving ahead more than I did before. So based on what Christ has done for me, I can say of myself, “I’m the worst critic ever!” with a smile now.