Beware the Prison of Pride and Blameshifting

The new Cephas Hour episode features, in addition to songs focusing on the substitutionary death and triumphant resurrection of Christ, discussion about true discrimination as opposed to the pretend kind so often paraded about today. It also touches on caring about others, not only for yourself. Plus, how the prison of pride is destroying society from the inside out.

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You can hear the entire show on demand at its website. Thanks.


 

 

It can be safely said of myself and other boomers that peace was the watchword of our generation, but there was no peace. The guns have never stopped flashing abroad. The anger and hatred have never stopped flashing at home. Like every generation before and after us, we were, are, and will be incapable of bringing about peace because we ourselves neither know nor acknowledge true peace.

The watchword of this present generation is disrespect, but there is no disrespect. It is a great and grand lie created under the delusion that hurtful or hateful acts, along with words made long ago by those who have long since returned to dust to those who have long since returned to dust, somehow demand contemporary recompense. It is a lie seeking to eradicate personal responsibility, instead shifting all blame for personal failures to those who neither committed nor condoned what has gone before.

It is bitterly ironic that those who scream the most about being disrespected exhibit incredible disrespect toward others. Those who cry the loudest and longest about being discriminated against due to their race or gender, which they insist they can define at will, are the first to practice open bigotry, bias, and discrimination against those they claim are the actual oppressors. They, of course, do not see this. Their self-righteous bigotry blinds them.

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We who believe expect to be discriminated against and despised by this world. We know that we follow the One Who Himself was discriminated against, despised, and rejected by the world. We follow Him, reverently kneeling at the cross where He gave His life so that we may have life eternal with Him. The world refuses to acknowledge His sacrifice or the necessity thereof. It is their loss, but one day they will discover the truth. By that time, it will be too late for them. Let’s make sure it’s not too late for us.

 

 

The apostle Paul tells us in his letter to the Colossians:

When you came to Christ, you were “circumcised,” but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead.

You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross.

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On the surface, this is an odd statement indeed. How could being publicly tortured and executed in the most humiliating and agonizing way possible be considered a victory? By earthly standards, this is impossible. However, as those of us who believe know, nothing is impossible with God.

The triumph of the cross was not in the cross in and of itself, but rather three days later in the empty tomb. The cross’ triumph stems from hell, death, and sin’s defeat by the power of one solitary man who, 2000 years ago, came to set free those with faith in Him who lived before His first visit to this planet, during that time, or after. In the words of the prophet Isaiah that Christ quoted, and remarked were fulfilled the day He read them:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released,
that the blind will see,
that the oppressed will be set free,
and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.”

 

 

A phrase often heard during any sporting event where the heavily favored team finds itself on the score’s short end is, “The other team practices too.” Nothing is a given. No matter how talented, or better on paper, someone or a collection of someones is than the competition, if you dismiss the other team out of hand and don’t compete up to your ability level, you will not win. Ever.

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The same principle applies to life. We all have our burdens and battles, our private little hell that can and all too frequently does consume us. We must take care of these things. Otherwise, they can severely damage us. Sometimes irrecoverably.

This duly noted, it is easy but dangerously shortsighted to exclusively focus on our own situation, neglecting to note that the other person has problems too. John Donne was right; no one is an island. We all have oppressive elements besetting our every day and every step.

To behave as though we alone are suffering while everyone else is on their own under the veneer of “they know their problems, and I don’t” is pathetically shortsighted. Empathy is not contingent on a complete understanding of someone else’s pain. We are all human, and we all share humanity’s common threads.

It is equally shortsighted, with a hefty dose of narcissism on the side, to focus so heavily on our problems while neglecting to value others sufficiently to, at the least, inquire how they are doing, that our life becomes a one-note samba of “woe is me.” The other person hurts too. Their hurt is as equally crucial as ours. Ignoring them while bemoaning our state helps no one. It makes the other person quite apt to wonder why they should support or care for us when our actions and words make it apparent our concern for them extends only as far as their willingness to feel sorry for us. In such a scenario, we are doing more than enough to feel sorry for ourselves to where the other person has zero inclination to join our pity party regardless of how deeply they care for us. We are pushing them away at a time when we most need them.

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The other person matters too. Ask them how they are doing. You will be surprised how much it helps you both face the wounds and scars we all bear.

 

 

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