A Condemning Heart

“If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.” 1 John 3:20 NIV

Observe with compassion rather than judge with condemnation. -Harold W. Becker #UnconditionalLove

Am I alone in this? If I really like something I must have more and more of it. Have you seen the Hoarders TV Show? I can’t watch it. So much pain–Filling the heart with stuff. But am I any different?

Let’s see…

Liking a television show so much I binge watch until my eyes burn—escape?

A game, a simple game turns into an obsession—am I really enjoying this or competing with others or myself? Distracting myself from my responsibilities.

Finding a 100-year-old pitcher at a garage sale has become an overflowing mess of vintage pitchers—Obsession or fun? Possession?

Addictions. They start “innocently” and become a habit and then a depressing way of life. Or they start as a reward for accomplishing something.  I started my wine habit this way. After a hard week at work I’d sit down with a rich glass of cabernet wine and without much thought it became a nightly reward. Uh-oh. After this presentation is finished, I’ll have one potato chip which grows into a bag of chips. The heart is still empty. The heart still condemns. The reward is turning against me.

What’s going on?

Why or when does something become bad? If honest it’s when my heart condemns me. Not when I get caught. Not when I’ve spent too much.  And it gets worse if caught, judged or shamed like an ugly stain that no club soda or spot remover can conquer. Thank the Father he is greater than our hearts—the heart of the matter. He knows the deep-down, ugly, hidden true root cause even if it starts innocently enough. And he loves us anyway. Have you met someone who quit smoking and now has a weight problem? Or the drinker quit drinking and sucks down a marijuana brownie? Heart of the matter. Something is still terribly out of sync. Our Father digs deeper into our hearts without shame or judgment.

Observe with compassion. Observe without judgment. Name it. Pray about it. Share with a mature and caring Christian. Set aside striving, denying, berating and take it to the Father. Remember: “His mercies are new every morning.”


One thing is sure, we all have something that trips us, shames us or baffles us. We are set free from one thing and here comes another! Beating ourselves, hiding ourselves (Adam and Eve did this) blaming (this one too) or denying will not solve it. That saying, “We’re all the same size at the foot of the cross” is true. Something in our hearts needs attention and care. Let’s take it to our Father now. And let’s practice loving ourselves and each other. Practice definitely required.


Dear Father,

We thank you for your mercies each and every day because we know our hearts deceive us. Our Enemy knows too. You are greater. Remind us not to judge, berate or condemn ourselves when struggling with our heart’s desires but to bring them to you through your Son. We are discovering who we are and who we can be in your Son each day.


Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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