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Monday, May 25, 2020

It’s My Fault

by Arndt Halvorson

“The greater the favor that is done to us, the more fiercely we resent it if it does not break us down and make us grateful….The effect of Christ’s death upon human nature… is not always gratitude.  Unless it is received in the Holy Ghost, the effect may just be… judgment… a death unto death.”

P.T. Forsyth

Today we use the word defensive a great deal. We tend to be judgmental about people who become defensive. It is a tacit admission of weakness and guilt. Our legal system. seems to encourage people to never to say, “It was my fault,” or “I was guilty.” We are encouraged to find extenuating circumstances. We seem to be in a human conspiracy to protect one another.

This defensive system has levels, or degrees of crisis. At the top is the experience of being forgiven before we are accused. G. B. Shaw is reputed to have said, “I don’t want anyone to die for me.”  “I can manage,” we say.  Ironically, if we do manage, continue to “stonewall,” and yet are found guilty, we have only demonstrated that we can survive in prison.

Jesus came to set us free from the exhaustion of defending ourselves. He came to set us free to be what God had in mind when he created us.

Such a huge gift is very expensive. To receive such a pardon means accepting also his claim on us. He not only came to give us good things, he died to save us from having to save ourselves.

His love kills our self love and creates a love for him that in turn sets us free, and gives us self-respect. Conversion is dying with Christ to our pride and self-protection system, and living to and with him as ruler and redeemer.

O resurrected Lord, strengthen us so we dare to confess our wrongdoings and to trust only in your merciful, saving, life-restoring love. Amen.