Random Blog Clay Feet: January 05, 2009
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Monday, January 05, 2009

Death by Sympathy

When I indulge in mourning and complaining I am in reality trying to draw sympathy from others for myself at the expense of someone else. This involves accusations that contain a force that is both infectious and poisonous yet is very deceptive in nature. Worst of all, when I engage in this kind of activity I am following in the footsteps of Satan himself, for that is how sin originated in his heart in the perfect atmosphere of heaven. But just because I don't live in a perfect atmosphere does not lessen my guilt or danger in the least, for God and His character has not changed in the slightest. In reality, when I complain I am ultimately complaining against Him and am doubting His goodness and plans for me.

The next step when confronted about my complaining attitude will be to blame others and to imply that I would be a much better person if I were not so controlled by the decisions of others and their effect over my life. Thus I am attempting to avoid or shift personal responsibility, again following the pattern of Satan's original sin.

The outgrowth of this pattern in Satan's life resulted in a “theory of justice” that we have inherited through our sinful environment and have generally assumed as being true. This false idea of justice tends to be exclusive of mercy. In other words, the two become antagonistic toward each other, you can either be one or the other but not both at the same time. Thus, to be just it will appear that mercy is impossible or is a compromise, and to be merciful will appear to violate or suspend true justice.

This is the concept of justice inherent in what is commonly called self-justification. A person who justifies themselves claims to be as right or more righteous than even God. This was the trap that Job fell into. They feel that their decisions are just, pure and without fault in comparison to others. They are unwilling to admit that their advice or opinions might be wrong; are unwilling to challenge their own assumptions. This progresses into a spirit of merciless justice, a counterfeit of real justice that is abhorrent to God and blasphemes His reputation.

But this version of justice that is so commonly seen around us is not really a safe kind of justice; it is not even real justice at all. Even though it may appear right in the eyes of those who sympathize with us, the real problem lies in not seeing things as God sees them – what is going on deeper at the heart level. It is impossible for us to know reality or to perceive motive as God knows it without living in sympathy with God and relying on His wisdom and revelations. When we indulge in this counterfeit form of thinking and living we misrepresent God to others and come into sympathy with His archenemy who's example we are following perfectly. We have set up our own standard of judgment on others and set ourselves up as judge in His place. But worst of all we expose ourselves to the danger of damnation itself – the experience commonly referred to as God's wrath. And this – all because we started out on the road of self-pity and self-indulgence through mourning and complaining.

This extremely deceptive spirit is highly contagious and will infect many around us with that same spirit. It is inflamed by reinforcement from the same spirit that motivates demons and locks us into a mindset that is worse than slavery because we can be totally unaware of our condition. This condition is extremely difficult to expose because of the defensiveness of self-justification and blame that permeates it. But at its core is the spirit of disloyalty and selfishness.

There is only one hope for anyone exposed to be in this condition; that is total submission to the convicting Spirit of Jesus and placing themselves completely on God's side without reservation. The other option is to engage in lying and denial about their true condition which will isolate their heart against further painful conviction and will eventually harden themselves against all hope of recovery. Lying about the true nature of our condition will feel like the right thing to do to sustain us, but it is the path laid out by our flesh which always feels logical and right to us. But that path invariably leads to death in the end. We desperately need the conviction and salvation of God to deliver us from this most intense power of self-deception and the allurement of pride and self-protection.

Ultimately I am going to die one way or another. The choice for me is whether I will choose to die to my flesh now which is so extremely painful, or will I maintain what feels safe now and be exposed to the glory of the truth of God that will so expose me later that it will prove to be my eternal destruction? If I choose to allow the fire of God's presence and His Spirit of truth to expose me now, if I choose to agree with the convicting urgings of His Spirit inside of me (confession) to lead me to repentance and allow Him full access to my heart, then I can experience the early death to self through my own choice that will result in new life from Jesus being able to spring up inside of me that can never die. But if I resist and refuse to admit the presence of Jesus into my heart and resist the real truth about myself to expose the secrets of my heart, then I will deepen my resistance and blindness and will store up wrath within myself for the day that wrath will destroy me.

One of the most deceptive aspects of this kind of thinking and feeling is that truth and lies can all be mixed up together making me look just the way I want to appear to others. It is all about image management and control to avoid humiliation and self-defeat or exposure. It is so much less painful to tap into whatever works to justify myself at the moment than to maintain a straight line of absolute truth no matter the cost. But this is the path of crookedness, it is the course of maintaining appearances more than maintaining openness of my heart and true honesty. This alternative course claims that true facts are the real definition of honesty instead of true confession of what is in the heart, my deeper motives that remain impossible for others to see clearly.

But in the long run it will be impossible to avoid the reality of truth. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8)