Men often stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
What an awesome quote! Today "truth" to many people has become relevant to whatever they want to make it.
BUT … truth is not relevant and you can not change it.
TRUTH IS TRUTH NO MATTER IF YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE THE TRUTH.
I do freely admit that getting back to the standard of truth can be a painful thing. Our built-in pride makes it especially hard to admit that we have gone astray. I can say this from my own experiences.
In years past, people were much more willing to admit their failure or sin because they knew the truth was the standard they needed to live by.
Today Satan has blinded the minds of many people. Deep down they know they need to change, but he keeps them so busy doing other things that the truth is crowded out.
Then after a few days they have been able to justify their actions.
Satan is a master of chaos, confusion, busyness and most importantly JUSTIFICATION.
When I have strayed from the standard of the truth, the Holy Spirit starts to convict me of what I have done.
From that moment on, I must make the choice as to what I will do – repent or justify my actions and choose not to repent.
The first thing that usually happens to me is that my pride kicks in and tries to tell me something similar to the following list of excuses:
- I only did this because (insert flimsy excuse here)
- What they did to me was terribly wrong and totally unjustified
- The other person said something hurtful first and I only responded to what they said. Can not I defend myself?
- I do not want to admit to the other person that I lied because it will make me look bad
- If I admit my failure I will look weak as a leader
*** Sometimes there is a huge fight that goes on inside me that tries to justify why I should not make things right.
*** Sometimes I am just wrong before God because He sees the secret condition of my heart, and another person is not involved at all.
But Satan will still try to convince you that you do not need to repent.
Justification seems to be a legitimate way out when you can not swallow your pride and repent.
In my experience, pride is the biggest thing Satan tries to use against me. My flesh does not want to admit that I have been wrong about anything, and it certainly doesnt want to admit that I have stumbled against the truth and now must do whatever it takes to get back into a right relationship with God.
Satan wants me to think that pride and arrogance are completely acceptable solutions to my problem – anything but true repentance.
There was one time I struggled furiously because Satan was trying hard to convince me that I definitely should not humble myself before God and repent.
In the end I forced myself to make the choice to go to the other person and ask for their forgiveness. They had said several things that were hurtful and unjustified to me. I had said ONE thing to them. But that One thing is all it took for God to convict me that I must get things right with the OTHER PERSON so that I could have a right relationship with HIM.
I literally forced myself to go to them and ask forgiveness. I knew it was for me more than them, and as soon as I had done it I was so glad I had not let "pride" be the ruler of my life. It felt really good to win such a hard battle.
The other person did not ask my forgiveness, but I realized that because I had done the right thing my relationship with God was now restored.
I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR ME – PERIOD !!! Others are responsible for what they have done. I do not have to answer for them.
Even though I fought one of the biggest battles of my life that day, I realized something huge that has served me well since then:
It may hurt for a little while to get rid of your pride and do the right thing. But in the long run, you will live a life of freedom and your relationship with God will be restored, which is vitally important.
There are many ways to be a slave other than someone forcibly holding you and making you do something against your will. Many times we make slaves of ourselves by refusing to do the right thing because it is too hard, or we are just too stubborn.
Since that day it has been much easier to go to others and ask forgiveness because I know my future relationship with God depends on it.
I do not have to be a slave to something that will keep me in a virtual prison for years or even for the rest of my life.
Make the choice to swallow your pride and live in God's freedom. It might be hard for the moment, but it is well worth it in the end!