Proverbs 20:6 … most men will proclaim their own goodness, but a faithful man is hard to find.
In Australia, the deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has been exposed for adultery. He’s been challenged about promoting the woman, with whom he’s had an affair, into a higher job position. His family is struggling with being dumped and publicly embarrassed. As a consequence, the Prime Minister has publicly suggested that Mr. Joyce’s behaviour is unacceptable and included a ‘no sex with staff’ in the code of conduct agreement. Mr. Joyce says he’s sorry, but at the same time he’s challenged the Prime Minister’s reaction. As far as he’s concerned it’s his own private business and no one has the right to judge him or tell him what to do. His sorry is mixed with arrogance and blame.
Fake sorry = don’t tell me what to do
Recently, I corrected a young man in our fellowship for his selfish attitude of envy and pride. He said sorry, then went about defending himself with his good deeds and ended up blaming me for the correction. In other words, he was telling me how he should have been corrected. From his perspective I was over-the-top. The truth is, he wouldn’t be put in his place.
Responsibility vs. Blame
I always find it fascinating how when someone sins they blame the authority for correcting them instead of taking responsibility for their sin and whole-heartedly accepting the correction. As far as they’re concerned, they’re a good person so sorry should see the end of it. Like king Saul, a selfish proud spirit won’t accept they’re wrong, even though they’ll often agree they are. These people will always ultimately look for excuses to defend their selfishness.
God doesn’t accept sorry
God only accepts repentance; He doesn’t accept sorry. God didn’t accept Judas’ sorry, but He did Peter’s. One sorry was an apology because he was exposed and embarrassed & probably blamed Jesus for putting him in that position by making him the treasurer. The other sorry was an acceptance of responsibility with sincere remorse resulting in repentance. One sorry re-evaluates that it’s not as bad as was first portrayed, the other sorry knows it was wrong and humbles itself to the punishment. One is too proud to bend, the other bends and repents.
Most people say sorry to get out of trouble. They don’t really mean it. Why? The pride of humanity doesn’t like being told it’s wrong. Most people believe they have the right to diagnose and surgically remove anything that’s bad, themselves. They don’t like other people telling them they’re wrong. Their pride can’t handle it.
Blame attached to sorry means you’re not sorry
You can’t say sorry and blame at the same time; it’s a contradiction. Saying sorry with an excuse, is not sorry; it’s selfish. Blame attached to sorry is the same as saying … “sorry for upsetting you but you’re wrong for correcting or punishing me the way you did. I’m willing to be told I’m wrong but I don’t like you telling me I’m wrong (which obviously doesn’t make sense); and you made me do it anyway”.
What the person is really saying is … I think I’m good. You shouldn’t tell me I’m bad! I have the right to decide whether I’ve done wrong, you don’t. In other words, they won’t be told, or they’ll pretend to be, but in their heart, they don’t like being put in their place.
Being put in your place
Being put in your place, is generally read as being put-down, when in fact, it may be a beneficial correction to your pride of position. Pride won’t interpret the difference but rather objects to the correction, in which case it clearly does need to be put in its place.
I’m right because you are wrong
Ask yourself … do you deduce you are right when someone who’s offended you is corrected?
The truth is, only pride makes the deduction … I’m right because you’re wrong, or I’m good because you are corrected. Just because someone is corrected doesn’t necessarily mean that you are right, and someone’s wrongness doesn’t prove you are good. You can’t conclude rightness based on someone else’s wrong. You may both be wrong. In fact, if this is your common deduction, then you, yourself, are full of your own pride.
Humanity makes its deductions based on its feelings
Most people believe that what they feel is the truth. Their deductions are based on how they feel. If you hurt my feelings then you’re not nice and you deserve to pay for it. This is the thinking of the anti-Christ, not Jesus. A genuine Christian makes his deductions by faith. Faith is the engine of his spirit, not feelings. If you’re running on feelings you’d better submit to correction to restore yourself to faith or you’ll eventually derail.
A faithful Christian accepts his feelings (whether it be heaviness, loneliness, failure, hurts, purposeless) as the burden of life that he shares with Christ. The feelings drive him to Christ … cast your cares on Him because he cares for you … as his strength and source.
The world is chasing happy feelings
The human spirit doesn’t like feeling bad, which is why if it gets caught, it says sorry, so it can get back to its good feelings. As far as the world is concerned, if I say sorry, that should be the end of it, and if it isn’t then you’ve got the problem. It’s a convenient way of ignoring one’s own sin and casting the blame onto someone else.
The world wants happy feelings all the time. It chases after it through … success, money, friends, marriage, travel, sex, fun, drugs, alcohol, & super challenges. The fake church sells happiness so it can take advantage of what the world is looking for, so it can increase its numbers and money and look good to the world so it’s not persecuted. Thus, the fake church is just like the world.
If you’re chasing happy feelings, then you’re of the world, not of Christ
Christ doesn’t offer happiness; He offers blessedness, and that’s a completely different product … blessed are you when you are persecuted, merciful, meek, mourn & poor … Matthew 5.
Happiness is transient and temporary; it’s based on luck. It never permanently fulfils; it always has to be chased for more, and it always produces envy against those who seem to have it.
Blessedness is based on faith. It’s a commitment to Christ, based on a relationship of love. It doesn’t seek happy feelings. It simply serves Him and trusts Him whatever the feelings and outcome.
It’s never really a ‘happy’ issue
On the surface humanity says it’s chasing happiness, but that’s just a cover for the real hidden agenda of … I can do what I want; no one’s going to tell me what I can and can’t do. If you don’t want to be told, you’ll chase what you want. Thus, Barnaby Joyce is now exposed for his real agenda and Satan wins and secretly controls another lost spirit.
The whole purpose of blame and hurt is to get you to retaliate against a demonic spirit so you come under its power. Satan argues ‘feelings’ through blame and guilt to trap you in His power. It’s the tickling of your feelings that is the temptation. Sin is acting on the temptations.
Conversely, God argues sin. This puts the argument on the spirit level, rather than the feeling level.
A remnant Christian goes to God’s Word for the truth of a person’s attack against them and either repents for being wrong, or righteously refuses to accept the blame and puts the responsibility for the sin back onto the shoulders of the blamer. They still may suffer the feelings of blame but they’re free from the power of the blame; they’ve shared it with the Lord. Elijah stood up to Ahab, David stood up to King Saul, Shadrach stood up to Nebuchadnezzar, and Jesus stood up to the Pharisees.
The remnant needs to learn the righteous path to Godly aggressive humility to stand up against the sinner, rather than being sucked into the satanic trick to react to hurt feelings.
Pastor Nick Clarence