..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)



Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Devotions From the Heart: Self Vindication

by Derek Gitsham

"Now therefore there is utterly a
fault among you, because ye go to
law one with another. Why do you not
rather take the wrong? Why do you not
rather suffer yourselves to be
defrauded?" (1 Corinthians 6:7)

St. Augustine said of himself, “Lord,
deliver me from the lust of self-vindication.”
It is one of the most powerful of emotions
inside the human body: the desire to set
the record straight in the eyes of your
accuser. Yet Paul says, “Let it go, take
being wronged.”

It is interesting to note this was
happening in the Corinthian Church. The
first epistle is loaded with truth, which
makes it obvious that they knew a lot of
things. However, they began to allow divisions
and carnality to enter in and, before long,
things were accepted and tolerated that were
far from what the standard of holiness should
be in the lives of those who follow Christ.

Taking offence lies at the heart of much of
the strife here in Corinth as in Christians
today. This could prove that many of us are
not as dead to things as we thought we were.
Paul’s reference to the Colossians in 3:3,
”You are dead and your life is hid with Christ
in God.”

He does not mean they are spiritually dead but
dead to self, dead to being offended. Jesus said,
“Blessed is the man who is not offended in me.”
(Luke 7:23.) The Corinthian Church was about to
boil over with division and rampant carnality.
The definition of carnality can be "reason married
to the devil!" Many saints have been reduced to
crumbling edifices of uselessness because they
have allowed themselves to be offended.

Paul’s words are serious, "Why do you not take the
wrong?, why do you not suffer yourselves to be
defrauded?" The death of Jesus is a gift from God
for us in this context. Oh, to be dead to all that
is said about us, without the fierce response and
desire to vindicate ourselves.

Letting people think the worse about you is tough,
but it can be done. If we ask the Lord, He will
help us get free from vindicating ourselves. God
will come through for us all. Only trust Him,
knowing that it matters only what He thinks
about us and knows of us. To be free of offence
is to be free indeed.

1 comment:

gmarie said...

I there. I wanted to say that I enjoy your site and added you to on to my poetry link. I began receiving your updates recently too and I just read "Self Vindication"...
"The definition of carnality can be "reason married
to the devil!" Many saints have been reduced to crumbling edifices of uselessness because they have allowed themselves to be offended." Woe...so true. This was a good post and of course -lovely pictures- gmarie