If many of us think back we can remember being told by a parent/teacher or some adult when we were younger, “Yes, they were wrong for doing that to you BUT you still have no excuse for your behavior… YOU KNOW BETTER!” My mother would even add; “I’ve taught you better… you know right from wrong.”
At my earliest memory of such rebukes; I still remember conceding with guilt that my mother was right. Often it was a matter of my little brother or younger cousins doing things to me that were outside of the boundaries of our house rules and I would therefore retaliate and in effect break the same rules and boundaries that were established in my mother’s house. I might call someone an ugly name, throw something at them, refuse to share my toys, or fight back in a negative way that I knew instinctively would not be pleasing to Mama. Yet somehow in my mind, my behavior was justified due to a wrong committed against me. If I had made up my mind to stand being justified in my actions my mother always had a final response that totally shut down my program. She’d say sadly, “You are older and your behavior should teach them right from wrong.You should have brought the matter to me when it got so out of hand.” (I hope you are able to follow this… I am writing it as he puts it on my heart)
The point is this:. God is that kind of Parent and He reacts to His child’s, rebellion and transgressions in this same way. “Yes, they were wrong for doing that to you BUT you still have no excuse for your behavior… YOU KNEW BETTER.” And to some of us He even adds: “It was I myself who taught you better… you know right the Truth and the Way; you are mature in Christ and your behavior should teach them what is pleasing to Me. You should have brought the matter to Me before it got so out of hand.”
I know that God has reared me Himself. The heart of various topics that I post here on this blog are not things made known to me by pastors, teachers or scholars. (Not to discount our need for any of these in our lives). My deepest knowledge of God is the fruit of spending long, lingering intimate moments with Him. Shutting my mouth and allowing Him to speak to me. Covering my ears and allowing Him to be heard in my heart, closing my eyes and allowing him to show me the Truth and the Way.
Therefore finding myself in a state of broken relationships filled with hurt feelings. I took the attitude of “I’ll show them!” Feeling totally justified in doing so because they had broken the house rules. What I did not realize was even though the people who I deemed hurtful had indeed wronged me… I was even more in the wrong, because I knew better. If I’d only taken it to Him in prayer He would have been magnified to all involved. If I had not taken the matter into my own hands and only placed it in His hand; He would have used it to His glory and someone lost may have found Him. Today I say sadly that I blew my inheritance BIG TIME!
Alas, I in that season I’d donned the coat of SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS! As I snuggled up and bundled into my coat, I was not aware that it was separating me further and further from God’s intimate presence. Rooted so deeply in my own justification there was no room for His voice, vision, Truth or Way. (I can’t lie… I DUG IN DEEP.) All of the beauty of the things that He’d taught me and I’d shared with others were tarnished in my own long dark shadow. Cutting to the chase I will tell you this… that little seed of self-righteousness and self-justification took me on a long destructive trip. Finding myself in places where I never want to return, trusting in the ways of people, bargaining and brawling, gambling so much on ME… I lost my shirt. I even felt morally bankrupt once God took my hand and brought me to my senses. (I can identify with Adam and Eve trying to hide nakedness behind a little fig leaf)
Many things come to mind as I write this: Job; The Prodigal; God’s Chastening; Peter at Jesus’ trial… just a lot of thoughts. But I regress. I do know as I write this I am speaking to someone that I probably have never met; who has strayed too far and who understands what this blog is REALLY about. Therefore I hope you have found your way here safely by His mercy and grace.
My eyes are wide shut! My mouth shut tightly! My ears plugged deeply!
God pointed to me and said in an angry voice… There is NO justification in your actions and you’ve nullified your purpose. There is no justification because I personally raised you to know better. No man/woman caused you to know these things you have knowledge of; but it was Me. It was in that very moment I thought of a dear friend of mine and knew the meaning of his saying to me: “Sin will cause you to stay longer than you want to stay and pay more than you want to pay!”
In God’s mercy and great love for me He said; “It is not yet the end, rise up and walk. “