Persistent Rationalizing vs. Personal Responsibility | Walk in the Word TV



so much of our struggle comes from the spinning of our wheels in the mud of trying to put the blame somewhere other than on the person in the mirror [Applause] [Applause] we'll take your Bibles if you would please and open to the Gospel of Luke the Gospel of Luke and we are going to pick up again kind of where we left off and spend some time on this now for several weeks we have started this series but now I see and that's a little phrase from the famous hymn by John Newton Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me I once was lost but now AM found was blind but now I see and we are trying to drill more deeply than we ever have before into the crisis of change I actually should have done these in a different order a year ago we spent some time on thinking differently all fall and that's the process of how you change but I just became convinced that more detail was actually needed on the crisis of change itself and what happens so often in a person's life is we just use the word problem to describe a host of things that happen and and everyone has problems turn to your neighbor and say everyone does and and what you have to see is is that the most significant thing about you is not what problems you have and we we tend to look at some people like all they don't have any problems right which I had their problems or their problems aren't are a lot easier than my problems and I'm not saying that that your life maybe isn't harder than some people's all I'm saying is is we got to get off the focus on what happens to me and on to the focus of how I deal with it and when a problem of some kind happens a fault a failure a disappointment a hurt now comes the choice and what I would say is is you can either reflect upon what has happened and formed some good conclusions about it or you can rationalize and bit I am so bad at this okay so you can reflect or you can rationalize as I was writing that and realizing that I was weren't running one word into the other I reflected upon it and I didn't rationalize what did I say I said I'm so bad at this all right and when you this is a muscle reflecting it was Richard sibs the 17th century reformer who said that conscience is the soul reflecting upon itself and to gaze inwardly and to evaluate what has happened you get to reflect then you get to responsibility and then what's this and then you get to repentance and then you get to restitution now most people never run that sequence problem reflect responsibility repentance restitution that is what this whole series is about that's where we're going but a lot of people get stuck over here that's how Donald Trump can say I'd apologize if I did something wrong he doesn't know how to reflect he only knows how to deflect by rationalizing this is the cause of human misery problems cannot be avoided reflecting taking personal responsibility repenting and making it right is what God's children are called to do but so often too often we do not do that we do this instead we rationalize so I want to go back into the place we started which was Judas and Peter and I want to look specifically at Peter and I want to talk a little bit about rationalization now rationalization is as old as the Garden of Eden and as recent as the nightly news and probably your ride to church today and when things happen our first knee-jerk reaction is to make excuses for ourselves and and to look for somewhere to lay the blame other than where it belongs point to where it belongs now I'm not saying that every wrong thing that's ever happened is your fault come on say he's not saying that I'm just saying there's no win for you in the blaming of others find what you can find on what you can own face what you can face and then go forward leave other people to God focus upon yourself I've tried to model that here and it's the only way to experience victory Karl Menninger a psychiatrist secular Jewish psychiatrist from the 70s said this in all of the laments and reproaches made today one misses any mention of sin it was a word once on everyone's mind but now rarely if ever heard does that mean that no sin is involved in all our troubles is no one any longer guilty of anything guilty perhaps of some sin that could be repented of see the idea it is only that someone is it only that someone may be stupid or sick or criminal or asleep look wrong things are being done we know but is no one to blame for these things there's no one answerable for these acts is no one responsible he goes on to write anxiety depression guilt we all acknowledge but as no one committed any sins manager wrote where indeed did sin go and what became of it see in a world that focuses on rationalizing as the answer to everything it is terrifically difficult to get people to go forward from their problems so we're going to work on that right now I have a whole a biblical overview here of I mean this when I said it goes back to the Garden of Eden I mean who did Adam blame Eve who did evil a snake right wasn't wasn't me as mine was a woman you gave me God and then no wasn't wasn't me it was a it was a serpent and ultimately they blamed God lot was offered best property he chose the nicest land by the worst neighbors and then he blamed God for the deterioration of his family God promised to give Abraham and Sarah a children but then he took too long and so Sarah rationalized well maybe maybe I should give my servant to him and all of the came of that Abraham lying about his wife because his fear Joseph's brothers betraying him and then blaming the way he was on the betraying action they took Moses leading the children of Israel black people the people the people the people blaming I mean the whole Bible is a story of people having a problem and then blaming and rationalizing instead of reflecting and taking responsibility and repenting and making restitution and I would give anything honest anything for every single person in this church can memorize those five words if you could just get to the place where when you had some regret you reflect it upon it took responsibility for it repented of it and made restitution for it you'd get so far ahead of your neighbors so fast so much of our struggle comes from the spinning of our wheels in the mud of trying to put the blame somewhere other than on the person in the mirror so rationalizations persist why do they persist they persist to silence regret we have regrets we know there's a problem and I want you to see this right here in the life of Peter we're in Luke 22 and I'm going to start in verse 54 speaking of Jesus and the soldiers that came to the Garden of Gethsemane it says then they seized him and led him away bringing him into the high priest's house we actually know that that was a probably a palace with four particular rooms with a courtyard in the middle maybe that's where Peter was and they took him to the high priests house and Peter was I've actually been there they know right where Caiaphas his house was in just outside the wall of Jerusalem and when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together Peter sat down among them now remember Jesus had predicted earlier in the chapter before the rooster crows you'll deny me three times and I just want you to follow notice that first phrase Peter was following at a distance Peter was following at a distance who's in church today who's following Jesus Christ at a distance there was a time in your life when you were closer when you were more faithful when you were more connected but now some things have happened some things have changed some disappointments have come and you still call yourself a Christian but you're following Christ at a distance this is the first common rationalization if you want to see a person on the road to personal sin start here they always say this I need some space back off a bit back off a bit I need some space I've got to figure some things out they always make it sound super noble right and I've seen this with men in my small groups I've seen this with people in my family I've seen this again and again with people in our family here watch out for the person who wants space and and yeah maybe I'll maybe I'll come back to church someday and whatever happened to Bill and and why don't we see Chris anymore he needs some space why does he need some space so we can get closer to Jesus is that why you need space our people who are people getting closer to just a guy who's who says I need space is that guy I need the space so I can get closer to Jesus that what's happening no no no no no you you get into isolation to create the space to do the thing you shouldn't be thinking about doing if you're not closer to Christ than you were a year ago you're you're setting sail for disaster for additional resources afford to request today's message call 1-800 545 6800 or go to James McDonald TV now stay with us as much more teaching ahead from James McDonald here on walkin the word everyone has regrets maybe you said some words you wish you could take that maybe you weren't there for your kids when they needed you maybe your life to the left turn and you're still suffering the consequences here's the thing regrets are unavoidable but you don't have to be ruined by if you resolve them while you can and that choice is yours we tend to think of our life as you know it's all about where I came from no no it's all about what happened to me no no it's all about how you chose to deal with the things in your life you regret it's all about that if you're ready to throw away the ball and chain of regrets we want you to check out our new but now I see the journey designed to be used as you listen to the entire but now I see series this journal will help you identify your own regrets and overcome barriers to regret reliving in any regretful moment one thing always stays the same the road to victory was paved repentance that's why we're also including the message repentance the moment of clarity on DVD when you request our journal repentance is more than just apologizing or feeling bad during tuffsy it's a heart change reflected in your thoughts and actions learn the clue blood when Wyatt out of repentance and get to work resolving your regret with God's Way and if you want even more teaching about the way God can bring life change we want you to have the entire but now I see series on CD plus our new power collection on DVD get your copy of but now I see new powers that but now I see jerk and the repentance DVD for your donation of $110 or more to the ministry regret free living can be yours today call eight hundred five four five sixty eight hundred or go to James McDonald TV right now another thing you'll always hear that person you know you know yeah I'm slipping a bit maybe maybe a bit but I'm not falling slipping isn't falling make a note of this choosing to follow Christ at a distant at a distance is the choice to inevitably fail I love you so I'll tell you the truth if you're not closer to Christ than you were a year ago and I've had some years where I wasn't I had to hear something like what we're hearing right now and I had to make a change if you're not closer to Christ than you were a year ago you're you're setting sail for disaster and the things that are most treasured to you will become less and less important and you'll begin to fixate on something that the enemy can fashion to destroy your life alright listen to me I got up showered shaved drove over to this church to tell you if you're not closer to Christ then you were a year ago you're setting sail for disaster stop with the rat you're doing it already aren't you are you rationalizing right now you're arguing with me right oh you know I just I just I just I just like Peter you're following his crash is coming and yours is to following at a distance here's the second when rationalizations persist to silence regret we don't want to feel regret so here it is I'm my own person I can handle the pressure notice in verse 55 and when they had kindled a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together Peter sat down among them now notice the cozy clan of compromise here verse 55 when they had who Peter the other disciples no no there's no Christians around well whose the day Peter is with these people era I met him at a bar just just well who is it Peter who you're spending time with there's some guys I met at work really really really you're going to base your whole life on the guy in the house you just happen to move into as my new buddy now oh is he is he is that awesome is it is it really just that person you ran into you don't even picking your friends anymore you're just slipping into it falling into it whatever I found are you really really because we think you're pretty amazing we actually want to have a relationship with you you don't have to just stumble into some available thing you can actually listen pick your friends maybe Peter would have said oh come on yeah maybe I'm out drinking a little bit with the boys from the office you know maybe I'm should be home with my family but I'm going over to my neighbors here to watch the game down in his basement really what's going on over there what's going on over there well they need some space to figure things out and and and don't worry I'm my own person I can handle the pressure that's why Paul said to the Corinthians let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall and I'm going to tell you something there's something about confidence that causes you to creep closer and closer to the edge I can't explain it to you all I can tell you is is that the people who have the greatest relationship with the Lord are actually more cautious about failure they're not like brazen out there i can do whatever i on look how strong I am no no no that's not right the stronger you are the more aware you are of your weakness try this instead of hiding your weakness instead of hiding your weakness how about this admit your weakness and discover incredible strength Paul said when I am weak then I am strong when I am weak then I am strong say it come on say it nothing better than a bunch of brothers in a circle saying man I'm so weak I am so weak in the face of temptation awesome well let's make a plan to not be in that place all right and let's just make a plan that's my best plan my best plan is not to be in the place where I'm going to fall that's my best plan and the Bible says to flee youthful lust run from it not not stand there look how strong I am today not like that that's not what a mature believer does the mature believer is not the person on the edge of temptation showing how strong they are as they fight the enemy that's not the mature believer is the one who is I don't go over there I don't I don't need that I don't want that and so we're working on some rationalizations here Peter was following at a distance Peter was in the wrong crowd make a note of this when surrounded by wrongdoers wrongdoing comes easily all right when surrounded by wrongdoers wrongdoing comes easily and Peter's about to crash and burn here so then this verse 56 Luke 22 56 then a servant girl seeing him as he sat in the light and looking closely at him said this man also was with him doesn't sound like she said it really to him so Peter was standing over here and there was maybe a bit of light from the fire in the courtyard and you know what it's like when you can feel you know I'm talking about you can feel somebody kind of looking at you and Peter's like you know and she can feel the late he can feel the lady kind of zoning in on him he's like girl and all of a sudden she gets some angle on his features this man this man was with him but he denied it now he turns and he says woman I do not know him well he said he wouldn't fail Jesus said he'd failed three times he said that won't happen for sure so maybe he thought to himself it's a one-time thing it won't happen again just one time just one time just one time following at a distance in the wrong crowd it's just a one time thing this is uh this is Emily Dickinson and uh my wife is very impressed with the fact that I know poetry she says most of the people in church they wouldn't know that you like poetry well I'm pretty particular about it and Emily Dickinson was born in 1830 she lived a very reclusive life she died at 56 now she's considered one of the great American poets and maybe only a dozen of her 1800 poems were even published during her lifetime but this poem is mind-bogglingly deep you should look it up yourself and read it I've almost memorized it I'm going to read it to you slowly here it is maybe crumbling is not an instance act see the possessive there it's a poem about how people fail and fall and what she's saying is when a person crashes and burns up I was like what what happened what happened as I've said how many times that's been happening for a long time you just find out about it in a moment but it's been happening for a long time all the alarm bells were ringing but nobody was waking up crumbling is not an instance act a fundamental pause dilapidation processes are organized decays as brilliant just brilliant that's what this message is about the far more than we realize unless somebody loves us enough to alert our attention to it we make little choices but we don't pay attention to where that's going so let's pay attention loved ones dilapidation x' processes are organized decays tis first a cobweb on the soul what I said you're not closer to Jesus than you were a year ago you're setting sail a cuticle of dust a boar like a like a termite or something that would eat away the internal structure of a part of a house a borer in the axis an elemental rust ruin is formal devil's work consecutive and slow fail at an instant no man did slipping is crashes law get it walk out in the parking lot and you see a car crashed into the side of the pump house there in the lot of the law of crashing is is that there was slipping if there was no slipping there would have been there couldn't have been any crashing there would have been stopping but there couldn't be stopping for some reason instead there was slipping and because there was slipping there was crashing listen up people don't just crash they slip and then they crash so we got this journal see and and it actually lays out the main summary points of the teaching with checklists with boxes with prayers to pray it's going to take you by the hand and get you to this amazing place of real clarity okay so just a little partner for the but now I see teaching to make sure that you're not just hearing the word but you're actually seeing its result in your life receive your journal today and begin your journey to freedom call eight hundred five four five sixty eight hundred or go to James McDonald TV right now to request your resource you




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