(adapted from Octavius Winslow's "Morning Thoughts")
"But if we judged ourselves, we would
not come under judgment." 1 Cor. 11:31
Self condemnation averts God's condemnation.
When a penitent sinner truly, humbly, graciously
sits in judgment upon himself, the Lord will never
sit in judgment upon him.
The penitent publican, who stood afar off, wrapped
in the spirit of self condemnation, retired from His
presence a justified man.
The proud, self righteous Pharisee, who marched
boldly to the altar and justified himself, went forth
from God's presence a condemned man.
When God sees a penitent sinner arraigning, judging,
condemning, loathing himself, He exclaims, "I do not
condemn you; go and sin no more." He who judges
and condemns himself upon God's footstool, shall be
acquitted and absolved from God's throne.
The Lord give unto us this secret spirit of self judgment.
Such was Job's, when in deep contrition he declared,
"I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."
Such was David's, when he penitentially confessed,
"Against You, You only have I sinned, and done this
evil in Your sight."
Such was Peter's, when he vehemently exclaimed,
"Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
Such was Isaiah's, when he plaintively cried, "Woe is me,
for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips."
Such was the publican's, when he humbly
prayed, "God be merciful to me a sinner."
Oh lovely posture!
Oh sacred spirit of self abhorrence, of self condemnation!
The Holy Spirit works it in the heart, and this stamps
it as so precious, so salutary, and so safe. The great
day of the Lord will unveil blessings passing all thought,
and glories passing all imagination, to the soul who
beneath the cross lies prostrate, in the spirit of self
The judgment day of the self condemning soul is on
this side of eternity! While the judgment day of the
self justifying soul is on the other side of eternity!
And oh, how terrible will that judgment be!