Voice of strangers – Overrighteousness

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This Sunday, I was watching a sermon on TV from a pastor in Chennai. He is the leader of one of the biggest churches in the world. He was preaching about “peace”. As he was preaching about living peacefully, he said something that bothered me.

“If there is a problem with someone, even if you have not done anything wrong, even if the mistake is entirely because of the other person, you should go and tell that other person that you are sorry and you should ask for their forgiveness. If you can not ask forgiveness, then you are not a true Christian and you surely are going to burn in hell.” (Paraphrased)

Really? I understand that as a Christian, one of the first acts that I need to do is repent for my sins and seek the forgiveness of the LORD. And also I should seek the forgiveness of those who are wronged by me. But… am I going to burn in hell because I am not seeking the forgiveness for something that I did not commit and from the person who did commit it? Really?

God willing, I will deal with the topic of burning in hell in another blog. But I want to point out one of the biggest stumbling block in Christian life – being overly righteous.

Yes, we are called to be peace-loving and peace-seeking. But does that mean we need to say, “I am sorry, please forgive me” when we have not done something? Let us see how many things are wrong in this one statement when we have not done anything that is wrong – according to the Word of God.

  • I am sorry.  Yes, we all can say that. But honestly, are we really sorry? No, we can not be really sorry when we have not done anything wrong that we regret. So, in essence when we say “I am sorry”, we are lying. And guess who is the father of all lies? In John 8:44, our Lord Jesus Christ clearly says that devil is the father of all lies. So, even though we are saying something that is really good and polite, when we don’t mean it, it is a lie and we have fallen into the web of lies that the devil has woven.
  • Please forgive me.  How can anyone ask forgiveness for themselves for something they didn’t commit? (Okay, here I am not talking about interceding with God for the sins others’ have committed, like Nehemiah and Daniel did; nor I am talking about you interceding on behalf of someone who is close to you, like Abigail did for her husband Nabal.) So, the only reason we are asking forgiveness is to appease the other person. But aren’t we Christians have a different calling? Not to please men, but to please God. (1 Thess. 2:4)

Just one statement that sounds polite and so correct in human terms. But that will make us the children of devil and pleasers of men. So, instead of being overly righteous and seeking peace in ways that the Bible does not advocate, let us seek the peace that surpasses all human understanding (Philippians 4:7), the peace that our Lord Jesus Christ has given us by His sacrifice on the Cross (John 14:27). Let us not forget what the Bible tells about following the LORD (Proverbs 4:27):

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Psalm 119:130“The unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”

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Posted on August 5, 2013, in Christian Life, Daily Manna, Strong Tower and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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