Stop Defending Yourself!!!
Devotional Thought of the Day:
But if we confess our sins to God, he can always be trusted to forgive us and take our sins away. 1 John 1:9 CEV
We need not worry about success because our love is guaranteed success, even if it does not move our neighbor to respond. For if we are one with Christ as members of His body, then our love is part of Christ’s love. It is not just an imitation from afar but a participation from within. And Christ’s love is guaranteed success, even though it was crucified in us and often continues to be crucified by the world. It is guaranteed success not because of its intentions or goals, but because of where it comes from: the Son’s perfect obedience to the Father.
671 “Jesus remains silent.”—Iesus autem tacebat. Why do you speak, to console yourself or to explain yourself? Say nothing. Seek joy in contempt: you’ll always receive less than you deserve. Can you, by any chance, ask: Quid enim mali feci?—“What evil have I done?”
Defending ourselves has become a national past-time it seems.
Some of us do so by going on the offensive and pointing out the flaws in others. Unless we are brave, we do this by social media. That way we add another layer of defensive offense to our armored position.
Others of us just back to the old ways, and attempt to rationalize and justify whatever it is we have done wrong. To explain why it was better to do it “our” way. We might even blame it on God, projecting some command, twisting it, to make us look better. After all, we were just obeying orders!
Maybe we fear that taking the silent approach simply confirms our guilt and the shame that goes along with it. But surely, we aren’t that concerned with what “they” think?
Escriva notes that we will earn less contempt than we deserve, and I believe that is true. Kreeft points us to the fact that if we are crucified for being wrong, let it be crucified for loving others. Hard concepts to act upon, and yet, that is what we do.
This is completely logical! If we are accused of anything else but loving God and those around us, we deserve the scorn. If we are accused of doing that which is truly loving, then we are in the same situation as Jesus, and are assured that HIs sacrifice was used by the Father, so would ours be. He wins when that happens, and because we dwell in Him, so we win as well!
Either way, defending ourselves is worth so little…
So what if we are guilty, what if they are right? What if we are the ones who have done wrong?
1 John says it is simple to take care of that…
Let God absolve you, go to your pastor or priest, and let them tell you what you need to hear, what devours the guilt and shame, leaving behind joy and freedom. And the ability to know the same love that nourishes our very soul, which enables us to love sacrificially. Even if the sacrifice is our very lives.
So either we are loving as we should, proving God is with us, or we are corrected by our error and absolved to love as we should.
Either way, defending ourselves would simply get in the way…
Rejoce, the Lord is with you, and He will take care of the situation!
Peter Kreeft, The God Who Loves You (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2004), 26.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way . Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Posted on January 2, 2020, in Devotions, Peter Kreeft, Poiema, The Way, Theology in Practice and tagged Love your neighbor, revenge, self-defense, self-righteousness. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.