Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No Comfort in Being Right

What comfort is there in being right?

Consider.  You engage in a knock-down drag out fight with your neighbor.  Things are ugly and mean and there is that constant air of hostility.  What comfort is it if you are... right?  Are things less ugly because you're right?  Is that hostility any less... hostile? 

What comfort is there in being right?

See, this is the heart of that old bane of fallen man - self-justification.  The cry of self-justification is "But I was right!"  That is literally justifying the self.  And our old sinful flesh things this is just a wonderful thing... but it's empty.  If the fight leaves wounds, being right doesn't bring healing.  If the fight leaves bitterness, being right doesn't make life sweet again.

Being right, seeing yourself as right brings no comfort.

"So then, do we just not care."  No.  We care.  We care about our neighbor and put their needs above our own -- especially our need to be right.  We care.  We confess Christ and Him crucified... if they don't like that, well, that's sad.  But we still don't need to prove ourselves to be right -- we point to Christ, not our own superior theological skills.

You don't need to prove yourself right.

Ponder what Paul says in 1st Corinthians 4(:3-4):  But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.  For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me.

That's freedom.  Paul is free from the idea of self-justification.  He doesn't judge himself, he doesn't work to make sure that everyone knows that he has passed with flying colors.  That is all immaterial.  Preach Christ.  Let God be the Judge.  Preach Christ and rejoice that God is the Judge, for God justifies you in Christ.

There is no comfort if you insist on proving yourself right.  There is no peace, no rest.  Abandon your own self-justification, and look instead at Christ.  He justifies.  Focus on Christ, and then you will be a bringer of peace, a comforter of those who mourn, one who gives mercy and love because that is what you have from Christ.  God works these things in you and through you, for you are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus.  Beat down your old sinful flesh that would seek to justify itself and claim any worth or merit apart from Christ.

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