Condemnation or condemning someone is a pretty serious matter. The dictionary defines condemn as “express complete disapproval of, typically in public; censure”. Have you unknowingly condemned anyone lately? I’m sure you didn’t utter the words specifically but we often find ourselves saying something like “I’ll never work with them again” or “if she doesn’t get her act together, I’ll make sure she isn’t our team again”. These are statements of condemnation. Oftentimes, our condemnation is even a little more subtle “Oh him, he is always like [fill in the blank]. I call this “pigeon-holing” someone; putting him or her in an inescapable place that they can never get themselves turned around. Some people are put there after one big mistake while others simply “earn” their position in the pigeonhole over time. You might be asking yourself, “how many times do I need to get burned before I stop believing they will actually come through for me?” The better question is “have I told them how they’ve let me down and what affect it has had on my work?” We need to be honest with people and let them know how their actions effect how others perceive them. Right or wrong, perception is reality in the eye of the one who perceives the action. If you have found yourself pigeon-holing someone, give them a chance to get out and make amends. If you leave them in the hole, you are condemning them to that place for a career. Reach out and share how they make you feel; not how they make everyone feel but how they make you feel. It makes your comments about you which can be less threatening. They might have been clueless about how their behavior affected other people because no one ever took the time to talk with them.
“Whoever believes in Him is not condemned. But whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” John 3:18
We are not condemned! No matter what we’ve done, Christ took our weaknesses, our sins and our guilt with Him on the cross so we would share in God’s love and Grace. We are not condemned because we are forgiven! John tells us quite simply that those who do not believe already stand condemned. God’s inspired word, through John, sums up our salvation. We are not condemned! We are assured eternal life through our faith in Christ. We may make the same mistakes over and over; we may commit the same sins again and again but we have forgiveness through Jesus’ sacrifice for us. God’s grace and love, along with our confession and repentance is what keeps us out of the pigeonhole. God isn’t interested in keeping us locked up or put in the same place. He needs us to be free so that we can spread the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. If you feel trapped, seek God and you will find that the door to the pigeonhole has been open this whole time. Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. You can walk out of that pigeonhole anytime. God did not put you there, you have put yourself there. God wants to see you free and flying high, make Him proud!