Facts of the Matter

A weekly letter of encouragement and challenge to business and professional men and women
Wednesday, April 3, 2002
Dear Colleagues,


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Good Morning!

Let’s face it.  We live in a society where the powerful, the beautiful, and the bright usually get the recognition, the accolades and the promotions.  It is a pride-driven world of self that takes on at least five forms of expression:

 #1 – SELF-PROMOTIONIn our effort to command center stage, we have become masters at crafting just the right image, and uncommonly adept at manipulating people and circumstances. Thus, we artfully name drop, apply pressure at strategic moments, flatter, pout, and intimidate.  The Scriptures, however, do not allow us the luxury,

“Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not…”  (Jer. 45:5a) (See Gen. 13; Rom. 12:16)

#2 – SELF-PITY  – As a people, we have nurtured a “victim mentality” by refusing to take responsibility for our lives: “No one appreciates me.”  “No one understands me.”  “I had a rough childhood.”  “They took advantage of me.” By way of contrast, consider St. Paul’s response to his severe victimization,

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…As servants of God… [we are] known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet we live on; beaten, and yet not killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything.” (2 Cor. 4:8,9; 6:4b, 9,10)  (See I King. 19:10; Job 10:1)

 #3 – SELF-SUFFICIENCY  – Hey…with enough guts, brains and raw hard work I will make it happen!” While God affirms a can-do spirit, He despises self-sufficiency that is rooted in pride,

 “In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.”  (Psa. 10:4)  (See Gen. 6:5,6; Psa. 138:8;Pro. 3:34;11:2;16:18; Isa. 2:11,12,17; 14:11-15; 65:2; Rom. 1:21, 28; Jams 4:6)

 #4 – SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS –  There are a lot of people out there doing a lot worse stuff than I.”  “I’m doing the best I can.”  “I lead a clean, moral life.”

 “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”  (Rom. 3:10,11) (See Isa. 64:6; Lk. 18:9-12; Rom. 3:10-17; 10:1-4; Phil. 3:9)

 #5 – SELF-WORSHIPHey, if ya got it, flaunt it!  Right? ‘Cause if you don’t toot your own horn, who will?” 

 “…Herod…delivered a public address to the people. They shouted, ‘This is the voice of a god, not of a man’ Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.”  (Act. 12:21b,23)  (See 2 Chron. 26:16-21; Dan. 6:6-9; Jms. 4:5,6; I Pet. 5:6)

 The only hope – the only focus – the only option for the sincere follower of Christ is to climb up on the cross with him and die.  And then  allow his life, moment by moment to live through ours,

 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  (Gal. 2:20)

 QUESTION: Today, are you willing once again to climb back up on that cross?


My prayer is that you are having a great week!

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