Your daily goal:
Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
(Monday-Friday, from my daily study time, I will write a short thought for that day which I pray God will use to motivate you to ‘GO’ for that day. Your objective is simple…to GO…to GO OUT and share the love of Christ with someone in that day….to GO and bear fruit …to be light to the world.)
Today’s Daily Light
Taking from The Search For Significance, by Robert McGee
The Blame Game
The Effects of the Fear of Punishment and the Compulsion to Punish Others
The logical result of Satan’s deception, Self-Worth = Performance + Others’ Opinions, is fear: the fear of failure, rejection, and punishment. (read that line again).
When we base our security and value on how well we perform and how we want others to perceive us, failure poses a tremendous threat to us. When threatened, we will often withdraw from the source of our fear and become very controlling of ourselves and others. For example, in an attempt to avoid failure, we may adhere to a fairly rigid schedule in where we’re fairly certain of success and avoid those activities that are less promising. Because we often perceive those closest to us as a reflection of ourselves and are consequently threatened by their failures, we are likely to try to control their behavior as well. If we have also determined that those who fail deserve to be punished, we will tend to victimize ourselves and/or others for virtually any wrongdoing.
Because of our insecurity, some of us are so self-protecting that we are rarely able to perceive of ourselves as being in the wrong. We may be quick to pinpoint – and condemn – the weaknesses of others, but in our own self-evaluation, we may be effectually blind to faults and frailties. This attitude may prompt us to turn others (who are ‘more needy’) to God but may prevent us from seeking Him because of our frequent inability to see our need for Him or because when we do fail, we may believe that the fault is His.
Some of us may fall on the other end of the spectrum. We may be so absorbed in our performance and so demanding of ourselves that when failure enters our circumstances, we believe that we are solely responsible. Rather than laying blame on someone else, we inflict punishment on ourselves and protect those who hurt us by explaining their deficiencies; She didn’t mean what she said; I’m sure he loves me – he just has a hard time showing it. If we have a tendency to punish ourselves for failures, we may believe that we must feel remorse for a certain length of time before we can experience peace and joy again In a twisted form of self-motivation, we may think that if we condemn ourselves enough, then perhaps we won’t fail again.
And then somewhere in the middle of this spectrum are those of us who are so hard on ourselves that we project our self-condemning attitude onto others. Passing judgment on others may be a response to our great need for consistency and justice. If we are going to punish failure in ourselves, we reason, then we must be consistent and punish failure in others. Insisting on justice, we may also take it upon ourselves to be God’s instrument of correction. We normally don’t like to see others getting away with something that they should be punished for (or, perhaps, that we wish we could do ourselves).
Finally, there are those of us who determine that because punishment is inevitable, we may as well ‘live it up’ and enjoy our sin before judgment comes.
The fear of punishment and the propensity to punish others can affect our lives in many ways.
The blame game leaves us feeling all alone without experiencing the faith we need to live without fear. Fear and faith can never be coequal. One will always dominate the other. The more you give yourself to fear, the more difficult it is to experience faith in your life.
The fear of punishment and the desire to punish others can be overcome by realizing that Christ has borne the punishment we deserve. His motives toward us are loving and kind. His discipline is designed to correct us and protect us from the destruction of sin, not to punish us.
Tomorrow!!! God’s Answer: Propitiation
Dear Father…thank you that Your ‘provision’ for our salvation includes a plan for us to have a personal relationship with You. Help us to more clearly, through the study of this series, come to see and know just how much you want us to grow in our relationship with You. Help us to learn and cherish Your provision…that You alone are source and supply. Help us to move increasingly away from any fear we have and move into the light of Your love through learning to trust and walk with You by faith…’so that’ we can experience true peace, joy, and live life to the ‘full’. And through this process, motivate and lead us to be able to share the ‘light’ of Your love and truth with those around us. Amen
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