The cause of spiritual blindness is pride, and the irony is, pride doesn’t think it’s proud nor blind, it thinks you are.
Our society today runs on the fuel of “be your own person; don’t let anyone tell you what to do.” A saved Christian already knows they have that right; but an unsaved Christian demands it as their right. It’s rationalised as “surely I have the right to figure it out for myself.” The difference between an unsaved Christian and a saved Christian is the love of self. Everyone is born with the love of themselves, but they don’t know it; pride blinds us to our selfishness. A proud Christian is motivated by ‘self for Christ’. A saved Christian no longer loves himself; God has shown him his pride, and he has bent the knee to the ultimate authority’s opinion of himself.
God uses authority to show us our pride. Our reaction to correction exposes it, and God uses this exposure to give us the chance to get free of our pride. Jesus came to set us free from our pride, not our wrongness. That’s why Rahab, and publicans, and sinners will find salvation before those who think they are good. The problem is, pride blinds, so if when you’re corrected you don’t give up your defensive opinion there’s no way you will see the opinion of the corrector. You see, pride relies on its own opinion; but the problem is pride is always 100% wrong, even if it’s right, therefore, your opinion will eventually destroy you. Pride can’t see anything except its own right. Pride is always doing things for its positional advantage because it loves itself, even if it appears to be loving and helping others.
The 5th commandment says to honour authority. That means don’t be argumentative with the authority; don’t think you’re above the wisdom of the authority; but rather respect the authority’s opinion. But what if the authority is wrong? What if the authority doesn’t know what he is talking about? To an unsaved Christian that question is all important, but to a saved Christian it doesn’t matter. As soon as you say the authority may be wrong, you confirm you are thinking of yourself; you confirm that you think your opinion is above the authority’s opinion; you’re not submitting to the ultimate authority’s instruction (ie God). This is pride, and pride blinds. Therefore, you will not see that you are being disrespectful, you will only see what you see.
The purpose of the authority, good or bad, is to expose to you that you are selfish, but you have to back off to see it. If you back-off and stand on the side of the corrector, you’ll see the corrector’s point of view. If you stand against the corrector, how can you ever see his point of view? If you were agreeable you would see what the authority was saying, and you would be free to agree or disagree.
You see, the instruction from the ultimate authority is ‘respect authority’; so if you don’t do that, you are proving that you are not keeping the 5th commandment and therefore are immediately wrong and full of your self.
Most people hate being corrected because to them it means “I’m no good”. Hopefully, you can see that this deduction is all centred on ME and my feelings. This deduction confirms they’re chasing superiority and refusing to feel inferior. This is pride. Humility would go … “thanks for pointing that out to me”. Pride thinks correction is over the top, or harsh; it dictates to the authority how it should correct. Correction to a saved Christian is “good”, not “I’m no good”. Correction is the opportunity to change direction from doing what’s wrong; it’s the blessing of staying free from your self; but to an unsaved Christian it’s a put-down. “I thought I was doing ok” is the analysis of a spirit that is striving for earthly value in the sight of other humans; his heart is not in heaven; it’s centred on earth. A proud person won’t see that; they’re blind. You need an authority to point it out; but it’s a catch 22, because pride only trusts its own deductive reasoning and thus you judge yourself with your own judgement.
Q. why won’t pride give up its need for value in the eyes of others?
A. It loves the world more than Christ, but can’t see it, because it’s blinded by pride, and it even serves Christ so you can’t tell it otherwise. Proud people do good to retain their value and improve their position.
God uses our judgement to judge ourselves with it. If you’re proud you’ll become envious of someone else’s position and God will use that envy to promote others and demote you. God’s not that worried if you judge others and are envious of others’ position and favour; He uses your envy to free others. In other words, if Christians refuse to surrender their drive for self-value, He’ll move onto the world and invite them to surrender. In Romans 11 God says the Jewish elect are under His grace, and the rest are blinded by their arrogance. God uses their blindness to offer salvation to the Gentiles to get the Jews jealous. He uses jealousy to motivate the Jews to re-think their arrogance. (Our God isn’t locked into our box of rightness, He can do whatever He likes because He is love.) Then when the Gentiles get arrogant He goes back and re-offers the Jews the opportunity to re-graft onto the vine. In other words, God turned His back on His chosen people because of their arrogance, and offered salvation to the worldly people. I believe He’s about to do that again, now. You see, there’s a limit to His grace, and there’s a principle in the bible, of God finding someone else to fill the vacancy if you reject it. If you harden your heart against the opinion of the authority, He’ll find someone else to fill your position. You’ll find the principle in Esther 4:14, and in the parable of the great banquet Luke 14:15. The Jews thought they were above the Gentiles, so God used the superiority of the Jews to bring their own judgment on themselves, and opened the door for the world to be saved.
Superiority is fuelled by the fear of feeling inferior. The fear of feeling ‘put down’ drives the average person to seek superiority and popularity, or at the least, to never feel inferior. Both, hating inferiority and seeking superiority is pride; they’re the same thing; ME. That’s pride! The bible says ‘whoever seeks to save his life shall lose it.’ A saved Christian has sacrificed the drive for superiority in the sight of other human beings, and he’s sacrificed the fear of feeling inferior; he doesn’t need it; his heart is no longer on this planet.
If you can’t be corrected, you’re not saved, Hebrews 12:8. If the authority says there’s something wrong and you go “no there’s not”, or “I thought I was doing ok”, can’t you see that you’ve just put your opinion above the authority’s. Doesn’t that mean that the issue is pride, and isn’t that what God is really addressing. Therefore God uses good and bad authority, for the purpose of opening your eyes to your pride, if only you will surrender. Sadly, most people are too proud to own it, and thus stay blind. God’s whole purpose is to take the scales off your eyes so He can show you the real you, and so you will call out to Him to save you from your self.
It’s clear to me that society’s outlawing of discipline is a demonic manipulation designed to promote and retain an individual in their pride and thus annul their chances of salvation. May God use this humanistic evil to dismantle humanism, and may God open your eyes to your selfishness before He transfers His grace to the world.
Pastor Phil Gordon