Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Success

"I suppose them as at the beginning of no meane endeavour,
not a little alter'd and mov'd inwardly in their mindes:
Some with doubt of what will be the successe,
others with fear of what will be the censure;
some with hope, others with confidence
of what they have to speake." John Milton


Regardless of any other intent in life, work, family or endeavour, we desire to be successful.
However, except for a small minority, success may be an elusive and teasing siren.
Most have an issue with failure, the antithesis of success, but failing is as much a part of life as any other function. It is not in failing nor in having success that the heart and soul are bridled, it is in the attitude, predominantly, the attitude we have with respect to the prejudices and judgements of others, either direct or by inference.

The imputation of blame on another for our failure is an unfair injustice of significant magnitude. It is in essence holding another accountable for our failure. It is also a judgement of their life and practices which seemingly by implication either extol our virtues or display our vices and foibles.

It is a terrible burden of proof placed on the shoulders of an otherwise guiltless and innocent participant in our life. To infer by the conduct and behaviour of another that an implied or certain burden of proof can be ascertained as to the success or failure of my life is absurd. However to the score-keepers of life this can be the persuasive 'argument from ignorance' by which a fallacy can be purported to be true. How unfair to those others, who are living their life as they see fit, whether awaiting the judgement of God or oblivious to that end.
1 Cor. 10:25, "Eat whatever is sold in the meat market, asking no questions for conscience' sake;..."
The scrupulous and meticulous attention to the details of imposed sanctification by the stalwart and moral legalist is a detriment to the common practice of kindness and courteous behaviour towards those who at times and at will, will have different views and sentiments with regard to what behaviours and actions are allowed. Galatians 5:1 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage."
For me to place a burden of proof upon one who is acting in a manner different from what I perceive to be correct and using my liberties or limitations to judge is quite probably, not the burden of proof guiding the conscience of the said individual. It is they who will stand and are standing before God, "working out their salvation with fear and trembling' or so I wish.

What has occurred and is assumed, is that the burden of proof and the standards by which we are critiqued and judged are those by which all parties are in agreement. Many orthodox believers act and speak as if there existed no imperative by which they were forced to align their malicious assumptions and intolerable presumptions with verifiable and empirical evidence to support their judgement.

Assuming the lack of burden of proof or persuasion and its inference and resulting isolation and ostracism then the issue is really one of pride. This can be twofold, first, pride in success by extolling the virtue of how the behaviour and conduct of others, those influenced and affected by myself, is in accordance with a set of values and virtues held by the holder to be the burden of proof justifying their perceived sense of success. 1 Corinthians 10:29, "Conscience," I say, not your own, but that of the other. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience?"


Second, pride as well in esteeming the same set of values and being used to judge others and by extension the failure of someone who has not met those standards of burden of proof and can subsequently be condemned and judged as a failure. 1 Corinthians 8:9, "... but beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak." The enlightened must consider the welfare of the unenlightened, where else is love.

The first is self-justification and the second is justification of condemnation of another, both based on pride in behaviour, either others who conform, or those who do not meet my standards.


Romans 2:1, "Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatsoever you judge another you condemn yourself, for you who judge practice the same things. ...(3) and do you think this O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgement of God? ... (14:10) But why do you judge your brother? Or why show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ."

"Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault, If memory o'er their tomb no trophies raise".- Thomas Gray.

Life has enough hard knocks and setbacks. To be held accountable for the success of another because of who I am or how I act really places me at a disadvantage, how can I ever succeed? On the flip side for me to place that burden upon another is unjust. We all have equal standing before God, and yes, there are some very practical forbidden behaviours with which I have no problem holding as a uncompromising, however when it comes to the creation of additional rules, regulations and responsibilities the moral judgements, opinions, personal dislikes and cultural bias, need to be set aside and the value of the person edified in the context of who they are and how God's love can be expressed through their life.
1 Corinthians 11:31, "For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged."

Romans 14:13, "Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother's way."
Insensitivity and a lack of humility (pride) which flaunts the freedoms and bondage's of Christianity? and by imputation holds all others accountable is a graceless and I believe a false premise. There exists a need for legalism within the Church, but never at the expense of a diminished view of grace.

Romans 8:24, For we are saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

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