Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Monday, February 16, 2015
Based Upon Acts 18
Have you ever experienced people who always need to be right, even when they are dead wrong?
There are people who seem to say the opposite of what you say, just to be anti. And many times these unreasonable people disagree with no evidence to support their cherished points of view. This is horribly annoying, at worst, when it comes to the mundane, but what if there were spiritual implications? My question today is, “Is your need to be ‘right’ greater than your need to be ‘righteous’”?
Ironically, Paul, who once was a part of the so-called religious elite among the Jews, seemed to have overwhelming numbers of deep discussions regarding Jesus and the Law of Moses. Following the resurrection of Christ and the numerous accounts of His power and miraculous ascension, having taken the keys of hell, death, and the grave from Satan, there were still elite Jews who refused to believe. They were bent on being purveyors of the Law, but so rigid that the Holy Spirit could not even convince them of their error. They simply would not see that the Law of Moses pointed to Christ. They were in agreement. Their fastidious opposition to the truth of Christ, was no mere annoyance without foundation. It was their undoing. Their pride and abject refusal to accept the hundreds of prophetic proofs of Jesus’ messiahship, placed them firmly outside of God’s ability to deliver them from sin. Some were so headstrong, that even the Holy Spirit could not penetrate since love cannot overrule volition. Pride is antithetical to faith.
Pride is antithetical to faith.
I met a young man at the bus stop one day. He was there with his pregnant girlfriend. They were quarreling about all sorts of nonsense. He asked my opinion because, as he said, he likes to listen to what older people have to say. I congratulated him for respecting maturity, but I asked him why he was disrespectful of his younger girlfriend’s views. He happened to be smoking a cigarette. I asked if a child at three years of age told him that smoking was bad for his health, whether he would accept the fact from someone so young. Pensively, he responded, “You are right, sir.” The point is, humility says that we should be willing to listen to wise counsel, no matter from where the counsel comes. Holding on to our own views at all costs, despite principled evidence to the contrary, could be even more detrimental to our spiritual health than the cigarette was to this young man’s physical health.
Will you join me for a spiritual gut check today? Will you ask the Lord to help you to always cherish a listening ear and a humble heart? Your life just might depend on it