Friday, January 3, 2014

I Deserve This!

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6  ESV

It is important at times to be blatantly honest about our sinful nature in order to understand how great God’s grace really is.  It is not easy to admit it, but sometimes we can be right smack dab in the middle of a big mess caused by our sin and not acknowledge the horrible actions or thoughts for what they are.  Turning our heads away from the failures of others is not as common as looking the other way in regard to our own sin.  It is easy to recognize and even judge the actions, attitudes or character of someone else while ignoring our own blind spots.

Many have found themselves in a situation that is wrong but could not see just how wrong it was until they were looking in the rear view mirror.  Looking back they may realize how deeply they had been involved in wrong things and how haughty and prideful, arrogant and above reproach they had been thinking and acting. They may be shocked and grieve greatly for their actions and attitude.  But the whole time they were ensnared they may have been telling themselves, “I deserve this, I am a good person and I deserve to be happy”, even if they knew it was sin.  This is a sense of entitlement just as much as thinking we deserve things or privileges just because of who we are not because we have earned them. 

Such an attitude is not surprising really.  We know that the root of all sin since Satan spoke to Eve is pride.  “You can be as God” were his words in the Garden of Eden.  Today we face the same temptation to believe that we deserve pleasure, power or riches so it doesn’t matter how we attain them. Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.  Proverbs 16:8

When the spotlight of God’s law and His Word finally break through to shine on our sin we become very aware of how ugly it really is.  It humbles us and grieves our hearts.  But until this is revealed we stand guilty of rationalizing and justifying our sin.

The Bible warns us repeatedly about how easy it is to be blinded by our sin.  It is amazing how deeply Satan takes us blindly down.  He helps us rationalize our sins and see through rose colored glasses.  He helps us to believe that we deserve what we want, even if it goes against what God says.  Satan whispers in our ear that we are just human and therefore not expected to live perfectly.  We become weak and vulnerable, just the way Satan likes it.  He will find our sweet spot, our weakness, our crack in the armor, and he will weasel his way in and attack us where he knows we are weakest.

No one is immune from falling victim to blind spots.  That is why it is important to have an accountability partner who is given the right and even responsibility to confront us when we do something that hurts others or our witness.  These accountability partners know our weaknesses and are aware that we can be overcome rather easily in certain areas.  They do not confront to judge but rather to warn.  It takes a special friend to be willing to risk a relationship by such confrontation. 
God can deliver us from temptation.  That does not mean He will take the temptation away but He can empower us not to fall to it.  What He needs us to do is be honest with ourselves and our sin.

Scripture to Claim:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way. Psalms 139:23-24

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