Wednesday, October 16, 2013

In Self-Defense

Have you ever noticed that when a person is under fire, or condemnation or accused of wrongdoing (actual or perceived) that the immediate reaction is to defend one's self?  That is our natural man inclination.  However, we are told in Luke 23:9:

Then he (Pilate) questioned with him in many words; but he (Jesus) answered him nothing.

 Jesus did not defend himself to the High Priest.  He allowed the Pharisees to accuse him of anything and everything that they wanted, and uttered not a word in His own defense.

I know that when I am accused unjustly for whatever reason, my immediate reaction is to defend myself.

This is a very hard thing to accept, but Jesus wants our lives to resemble his as closely as possible.  He is, after all, the way the truth and the life.  His instructions to us in Matthew 16:24 include these words:  "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me".  So when we think that He wants us prosperous, think again; when we think He wants us to have homes and money and vehicles and all the other things that wealth affords us in the life, think again.

We are not promised healthy, happy, successful lives.  If the Son of God could not expect to have the best of health, wealth, position, and long life, what makes us think we should expect those things?  We are never to react out of a selfish desire to defend ourselves, we are to react in ways that will surely disarm our most vengeful enemies:  by turning the other cheek,  by not only giving our coat,  but by also giving our sweater.  If  we are asked to walk a mile on behalf of someone, we should be willing to go two.

Think about this for a minute:  If Jesus would have defended himself before Pilate, what he if he had been turned loose and not crucified?  Mankind would have had no hope, no peace and no one to pay our atonement.  We would have been condemned to death and eternity in hell.

So quit acting out of the defense mode and switch instead to the disciple mode by taking up your cross, denying yourself and following him.


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