So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
It's so easy to define myself by condemning someone else. To comfort myself by consigning someone else for falling short. I inflate myself by letting the air out of someone else.
And when I think I am condemned by my behaviour or by another person's opinion, my perspective narrows. I respond defensively and I refuse to see possiblity.
Condemnation makes me bitter and pessimistic, and it draws the hope out of me. It shrivels me.
Belonging is the antedote. When I am part of the tribe and I know I am accepted, then I don't have to condemn to prove myself. And belonging frees me to accept, rather than condemn others.
But the final piece to the puzzle is who we belong to. To Jesus, the one who chose not to condemn an adulterous woman, as those around her wanted to do. Instead he called her to live as one who belonged to Him.
Belonging to Jesus is my identity. Not just me, but 'one who belongs to Jesus'.
And it frees me from the ultimate condemnation - death and separation from God.
Listen to Romans 8:1 and remember to whom you belong.