Ptr Francis Chan on
“Truth Matters: Get Over Yourself”
Many Christian homes are plagued by quarrels. Relational conflicts aren’t limited in the confines of our homes but is also an epidemic in the workplace, in business, in any organization. Even churches aren’t spared. James 4:1 says, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you?” James does not beat around the bush. He speaks plainly and straightforwardly the truth. Relational conflicts happen because we are self-centered beings who have the proclivity to selfishness. We are so busy being self-absorbed, blinded by our sin and fixated on blaming. Instead of being preoccupied with pleasing God, we are focused on pleasing our self. We are on selfie mode, as Pastor Francis Chan said last Sunday. Do we realize just how guilty we are of this? In any given conflict, it’s just so easy for us to justify that we aren’t the problem, that we are the ones who sustained more hurt in the conflict, that the other party is at fault. Pride is a sin that we are all guilty of. We think of our anger as righteous and we dig our heels just so we can shift the blame on the other person. How good it feels to be so engrossed in such self-righteousness and insist that we are on the right path, all while painting the other party black with slander, gossip and malicious stories in the guise of accountability. Until we correctly see ourselves against a holy, just and gracious God, our default will always me on selfie mode.
Have we forgotten that the enemy can be our own sinful and deceitful hearts? Have we failed to grasp the reality of our sinfulness and depravity? How narcissist are we that we think that everyone else is the problem except us? What short memory we have! It is our pride that wage war within us when we take offense against a wife who has disrespected us, a husband who has failed to cherish us the way we desired, a child who has disobeyed us, a leader who has hurt us, a disciple who has betrayed us, an employee who was dishonest to us, a business partner who has deceived us, a pastor who has failed us? All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, have we forgotten that? Pain and hurt at home, in church and in all fronts are inevitable because we are all imperfect, selfish beings, on a stubborn, selfie mode. Just as we are imperfect people capable of being offended, we are equally capable of offending others, too! Or have we forgotten that as well?
If we are indeed Christ-followers, aren’t we called to love? To be humble and forgive? To extend grace? To die to self? Where is the grace we preach about, we sing about, we profess to know? When push comes to shove, when we are tested for the things we say we have learned in Scripture, when we are called to act on the love we have from Christ that we boast of, when the pressure is on and we are called to forgive someone who has offended us, when the situation is critical that we must give all and commit to serving Him, will we pass? Can we get the job done?
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” [John 13:35] Are we really loving one another? If we are, then we are to keep short accounts for our own heart’s sake. The fruit we bear gives our heart away. If we are sowing division, anger, hatred, malice, whose side are we on? Whose voice are we listening to? The enemy is very much alive, it is influencing all of us to this day and it is sowing destructive seeds in our hearts and often it begins with sending us into selfie mode. Let us tend our hearts wisely! The trademark of love, grace, selflessness and humility must be visible in our lives, it is what sets us apart. If Jesus is indeed our Shepherd, we are to be life-giving, not life-sucking. We are to take eyes off of ourselves, off the conflict, off our anger, hurt and pain and see and enjoy the beauty and blessing of forgiveness, peace and healing.