I was reading today a passage from the book of Romans and how God leads us to repentance. It got me to thinking about the difference between repentance and condemnation. I think of it as a valley.
Imagine yourself walking through a valley. You feel all alone, but echoing off of the grassy slopes of the mountains surrounding you are the merciless cries, jeers, taunts, demands for retribution and proclaiming of all of your faults by angry and revengeful people. This is condemnation.
Imagine yourself walking through that same valley, but the voices are different. The accusations are the same, but they are spoken in pleading tones, as if the person just wants you to acknowledge your wrong so they can forgive you. All of your faults and failures are still there and still trouble you, but Jesus walks along beside you and says, I have forgiven you and if you stick with Me, we can make it right and make something good come out of it.
For me, I would much rather travel through the valley of repentance than the valley of condemnation.