Being Confronted With Truth Any time we receive new information, we have to reconcile that information with the rest of our knowledge base.
Oftentimes, people find this reconciliation unnerving. Many times, they reject the new insight because it challenges the beliefs they have become accustomed to. If they allowed themselves to look at this new information squarely, then it might cause such an upset to their core beliefs as to make them have to change their whole system of reasoning!
On the other hand, sometimes people readily accept new information, even if it is bad information, because it reinforces core beliefs that have become comfortable to them…and has even become something they lean on.
Whatever the case, God has made a habit of shining His light on us, so it is something that believers must get used to if they really want the truth and not just the “truths” that feel good to them. However, darkness is comfortable because it keeps hidden what light will expose. Men love darkness rather than light…or, at least, that's what the bible I read says.
But, thankfully, not everyone puts their comfort first. Some people actually want the truth no matter what, even more than the comfort and security of believing what they have become accustomed to.
So, what if?? What if I did decide to step out of my comfort zone and investigate the information I have been confronted with? What if I found out that some of the things I have been believing are wrong? What if some of my particular attitudes and behaviors that I have fought to keep, are a concern in God’s eyes? What if? What if there are things in my life that I really do need to change? What if?
Why is it so hard for us to admit that we may have missed the mark? Why do some of us become so angry when confronted? I am reminded of how Adam and Eve reacted in the garden when they were confronted with the knowledge that they had disobeyed God. They immediately ran away from God, hid from Him and blamed one another. So, it appears that this is in the roots of our human nature to act this way…which means that it should be our first priority to want to do deal with this particular human flaw that got us in this mess in the 1st place!
Jesus paid our way back to God. Therefore, when we have messed up, He has already paved the way back to Him.
I think that most of us know that we have a path that has been cleared away…and so we can go directly to God now, because of Jesus…but I think many of us still think that even though the path has been cleared, that we still have to do some groveling on the way up. As another flaw in our nature is shame. When Adam and Eve hid, it was out of shame. However, shame has also been paid for on the cross.
God loves us and we are His dear children…and because of this, He desires us to be more like Him…as we were originally created in His image. However, to become more like God’s original intent involves accepting His discipline. Discipline is not the type of punishment that the law imposed…as punishment inflicts pain to get us to stop sinning BUT does not give us the power to change. But discipline is the opposite and was not originated to inflict pain...altho discipline can be painful. Discipline does not stop at getting us to stop sinning. NO, it's purpose is to completely change a person into being more like Christ...and JUST stopping sin does not make us like Christ.
Therefore, when confronted with something we may have done to hurt someone, if we feel shame or anger and then try and squirm out of what God very likely is trying to teach us, then we have put our lives in the hands of a different God or a different Gospel message then what is really the true one…and have kept our fate underneath the law.
God's discipline is to make us more like Him...to mold us. The law was just created to punish. So, if a person is trying to fight the confrontation, then there is one of two things happening here. Either they are eccentially telling God they do not want to submit to being changed into more of His likeness....or they are still under the law and still think God operates as under the law...along with feeling the shame of "being a bad person", which is all the law could leave a person with.
We are not bad, we are spiritually new creatures...and the discipline is what molds us so we act like new creatures. Discipline completes the process...it does not swing the belt willy-nilly and then walks away. This is the law...that JUST tempers behavior for a bit...and actually provokes the sin nature to rebel in the long run.
We are not bad. God created us and then recreated us in Christ. When He disciplines us, He cuts away and then heals. To me it is like a big block of cheese. We open the new package and take a couple of slices. Then we wrap it back up and put it back in the fridge. Then a few days later we take it out again and unwrap it. However, now there is a green spot on the block! Is the whole block of cheese bad now because of one spot? Well, of course not.
Under the law, the whole block would be thrown out, because the law deals in punishment. But, under grace there is a whole different story. God desires that the one spot be cut away...which can be very uncomfortable....however, then the healing begins. Yes, the cutting away, the healing and the change it brings always involves pain...and that is the reality. Then, however, it produces peace and righteousness...and becoming more like Him.
Proverbs 15: 5, 12&32 “Only a fool despises discipline; whoever learns from discipline is wise.” “Mockers don’t love those who rebuke them, so they stay away from the wise.” “If you reject criticism, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.”
Hebrews 12:10 “But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in His holiness.”
The bottom line is, many people feel like they ARE bad, and so they react like Adam and Eve did. They react OUT of their feeling of shame when confronted with something they did to hurt someone or did wrong…instead of reacting OUT of the abundance of grace they have been given now in Jesus.
So, they lash out as a way to deflect any blame….which is what Adam did when he blamed Eve. They lack the understanding that God wants us to run TO Him and admit wrong, not so He can lay blame and make us feel bad (which was what the law did)….but so we can experience His grace and restoration. Restoration between God and ourselves…and also one another, because restoration cannot happen if we go around hurting one another and then just think the relationship (and everything else) will be ok no matter what we do.
We are not living in lalaland…where we can throw a stone at someone and just walk away like nothing happened. We are to live in truth, not denial. The relationship must be restored, for it to be restored. The 1st commandment does not just say to love God... He includes in the very same commandment to love God and each other as ourselves. Being right with God always includes being right with one another..."As far as it depends on you be at peace with all men"
About the Author: Having been a Christian since 1977, God has taught Jenny so much about His grace and mercy. Many of the lessons she learned happened while teaching in early childhood education for almost 30 years...as working with children is a great place to learn these wonderful truths. Jenny is presently working on a children's book, and a curriculum for homeschool families and has written for an online publication. However, she is fairly new to blogging...