Three Kinds of Phony
August 2002 by Asher Intrater
A beautiful revelation of the New Covenant is that we find our identity and our self worth IN Yeshua (Jesus). We also find our freedom of conscience in Him. When we try to establish our own rightness, we find ourselves in the wrong.
Of course, this is a spiritual righteousness in Yeshua, but it has effects on our psychological self image as well. Through faith we know that we were destined and created "in the image of God"; therefore, we have a different basis on how to see ourselves. People who do not have a personal relationship with God or have not received the "gift" of righteousness from Yeshua have to find other means to "come to grips" with themselves. Unfortunately, many believers do the same thing, even though they ought to know better.
Here are three examples that many people, both believers and unbelievers, do to compensate for their lack of the true righteousness.
1. Fault Finding
3. Self Pity
The self-pity tactic comes from a lack of understanding the grace of God. We all suffer much less than we deserve. By grace we understand that God loves us, blesses us and is full of compassion and affection for us. If someone does not know that, he seeks to find a way to draw out compassion from those around him. In the lack of divine compassion, he subconsciously seeks for human sympathy. How can he do that? By telling others how "hard" it is for him.
Years ago I was influenced by a lady I'm sure none of you know. She has eight children, an abusive, alcoholic husband, and lives in a three room apartment. She has to work overtime to make ends meet. I asked her once if she was exhausted from all the effort to work and hold the family together. She told me that her mother had taught her that it is forbidden to think about how tired you are. That would only make you hopeless and despairing. Sometimes when I get stressed from overwork, and start to feel sorry for myself, I think of her.
In the Israeli Army, for training purposes, they often make the young officers work for days with practically no sleep at all. They tell them that in war conditions, they may not get a chance to sleep. One day I called my son Heskel on the cell phone and asked him how his week was going. "Great," he said, "We've had an easy week. We get up a little before six AM, work until a little after ten PM, then we have time to take care of our personal belongings and laundry etc, and then we have the rest of the day free."
Well, I haven't reached that level of maturity yet, but those kinds of examples do help to encourage me. By "encourage", I mean to put "courage" on the inside. Let's look to Yeshua to find our righteousness in Him, so we can stop finding faults in others. Let us have our primary association as one who has been "with Him (Acts 4:13)", so that we'll never have the need to "name drop." Let us receive all the compassion of God in His grace, so that we'll never have to manipulate sympathy out of others by telling how hard we have it. That's part of the walk of "faith".
Through Yeshua we can be genuine - genuine in our love for others, in our own self-image and in our ability to act courageously in the face of real difficulties.
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