I remember the first time I was placed in time out. It was awful. For the first time in my short, little life I would have rather had a spanking to get things over with. There was something dreadful about being isolated from others while life carried on. Those 5, 10, or 20 minutes-however long they may have been, seemed as if they took forever. Timeout with other children to witness only worsened the experience. It was shameful that other children knew I’d done something bad enough to be punished and even worse, couldn’t proceed with playing until my sentence was done.
As a growing Christian, I’ve found myself in predicaments that felt like timeout. Repentance didn’t seem to suffice for sins that I committed. It felt like I was on a probationary period even after I asked for forgiveness, so I would refrain from asking God for anything because I was still in “timeout.” Along the way, I’ve learned that the times in timeout was condemnation.
God is certainly our father but His ways of teaching and growing us is not like that of natural fathers. Although we may anger, disappoint, or sadden him, He does not hold our actions over our heads when we ask Him to forgive us. Moments that I feel condemnation lurking around the corner, I begin to speak God’s word regarding the situation: 1 John 1:9, Romans 3:23, and Romans 8:1. Sure, people are prone to remember the bad and forget the good things that we’ve done but that’s not God’s way. Ask God to forgive you (and turn away from the sin), forgive yourself, and move forward knowing that God is there to love on you and restore you!
Grace and peace,