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IN TOUCH WITH GOD   by Edward Heppenstall

Fellowship With God FEBRUARY 19


There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. Rom. 8:1.

Much of the guilt we feel arises from our relation to one another, to society, and to the religious requirements that prevail. Some of the standards are legitimate. Some of them are not. The guilt we attribute to others is quite unwarranted when it is our own rules that we seek to proclaim as God's standards. Also, the stricter the religion to which we belong, the easier it is to regard every infraction of a rule as the violation of a principle, and the easier to make people feel guilty when they fall short. Without the love of God in our hearts and in our religion, the easier it is to become judgmental of people who do not live according to the rules we have set up. The higher the standards, the more we automatically sense the wrongdoings of people. The temptation is to sit in the judgment seat and play God. People sense it without our saying a word.

False guilt feelings are created by poorly based perfectionistic attitudes and unbalanced comprehension of doctrine on the part of parents toward children, religious leaders toward their church members, professed Christians toward the less morally favorable and the spiritually inadequate. The tendency is to communicate rejection, disapproval, of those who may appear to us to be "too liberal" in their thinking and living. Judging, criticizing, and condemning are common practice among many professed Christians. When this happens we destroy personal relationships.

There is a Christian and an unchristian way of treating the failures of other people. The unchristian way is to express the registration of faults and failings, either in attitude or in words of scolding, disapproval, rebuke, and slighting remarks. We tend to make capital out of little things. Nothing gets by us without our- taking note of it.

We who daily walk with Jesus Christ are always drawing others to Him, to live in harmony with Him, always leading them back to our heavenly Father. Sin, guilt, and condemnation are discredited, not love, mercy, and forgiveness. Christ wins by redeeming love, not by condemnation.

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