I was counselling a fellowship member who was struggling with a grievance against someone who had used her. I asked her to write down the definition of “grievance”. She defined it as ‘hurt feelings when someone does something to offend you.’
A personal definition
I suggested a different definition … ‘I think I’m special and you’re making me feel unspecial.’ Suddenly her eyes were opened and she realised that, although she had tried to repent of her feelings and to forgive the perpetrator, she still wasn’t free because the issue was not her feelings but her pride.
You can’t repent of your mood or ungodly reaction, without forgiving, and you can’t forgive whilst still holding a grievance. Most Christians live in a vacuum of false forgiveness, still holding onto the unfairness of their treatment, but, with time, settle their feelings so they think it’s all resolved.
Every Christian should look at their definition of “guilt” and “envy” in the same light. The personal definition for guilt is … ‘I think I’m a good person but you’re making me feel bad.’ And of envy … “I’m special, how come you got it and not me.”
Whenever pride is in the picture, blame and envy are the fruit
In Exodus 32 we read the story of the golden calf. The people were frustrated that Moses had not returned from meeting with God, so they persuaded Aaron to create a new god for them. Aaron didn’t even seem to baulk. He gathered their gold pieces together and threw them into the furnace and out came a golden calf, and they worshipped the Lord by sacrificing to the calf. How crazy is that? Not only that, but Aaron got them to be naked.
How could Aaron be so far out of alignment?
The answer is … I think I’m special, too, Moses. He had allowed the voice of temptation to infiltrate his spirit, and behind the scenes he had envied Moses’ miraculous ability. Aaron was on his way to hell. The only thing that stopped him from falling into hell was the prayer of Moses (Deuteronomy 9:20). God changed His mind about the destruction of the people and Aaron simply because Moses didn’t think he was special.
You won’t find the Holy Spirit thinking He is special
In Mark 3 we read a contrasting story about Jesus healing the man with the withered hand. The Pharisees were watching Him to see if He would heal on the Sabbath. Jesus angrily rebuked them and then healed the man’s hand. The Pharisees’ response was to go to the Romans and jointly plot Jesus’ death.
In other words, the church joined with the world for the destruction of the Creator. Why? Simply because Jesus could do things that they couldn’t, so they had to get rid of Him.
Jesus’ response was not … I think I’m special, so you have no right to tell Me what’s right or wrong. Rather, His response was … just keep doing what the Father wants. How was He able to turn off the hurt of their offense? Simple … He was dead to Himself.
How do we die to ourselves?
First of all, open your eyes to your human envy, and when you see it, repent of your sin. Any blame, any mood, any envy is simply the fruit of … I think I’m special. Whilst you think you’re special you will never access heaven. Like Aaron and the Pharisees, you can be in an important position in the church system, but your blindness to your envy will prosper the work of demons in you and you will fall into hell. Sooner or later, like Aaron, immorality will creep into your heart, and eventually, like the Pharisees, your envy will turn against Christ’s remnant with the blasphemy of thinking that the spirit in them is Beelzebub (Mark 3:22-30).
If you’re dead, there’s no mood or blame or envy, but only if you’re dead. If you’re dead, the Spirit of God protects your hurts and feelings because your faith and trust is wholly in Him.
Salvation isn’t by works or position
Salvation is only via death. To be reborn you have to die to yourself. Unless you die you can never be reborn. This principle is seen in a seed. For a seed to produce a tree it first has to die before it can germinate. This is the picture of Jesus the Seed of the Word of God. He died that all who die with Him could live.
In Luke 14:26 we read that … to be a disciple you actually have to hate yourself (not love yourself) and take up your cross (die to your selfishness) daily. This means that your self is of no value when it comes to servitude for Christ. He only is my life, not me.
That’s why Paul wrote … I am crucified with Christ. Nevertheless, I live, yet not I but Christ lives in me, and the life that I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
You can only access heaven through death, not works. In John 15, Jesus said … the world will hate you because it hated Me. The world will persecute you because it persecuted Me. A follower of Christ is not exempt from being hated; rather, if he is not hated then he is not a follower of Christ … for all that live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Timothy 3:12). Why? Because the church and the world will hate the different Spirit in you.
One clear piece of evidence that you are reborn is …
I’m no longer special, the only thing I’m interested in is knowing Him and serving Him.
May God open the eyes of His remnant to not be deceived by the false blessing philosophy that a Christian is a son who gets the deal.
Pastor Paul Justica