Our Daily Journey: A 30-Day Walk With Jesus

Our Daily Journey: A 30-Day Walk With Jesus

DAY 4 OF 30


Augustine’s Confessions traces his journey through misspent youth, false religion, and finally to Jesus. As a man with much to confess, Augustine was sometimes tempted to be defensive. A translation of one of his prayers says: “O Lord, deliver me from this lust of always vindicating myself.”

A story in the book of Judges tells how an unlikely leader chose not to vindicate himself. Gideon had put the vast Midianite army to flight with just 300 men. Then he rallied troops from several Israelite tribes to assist with the pursuit. But Ephraim’s warriors challenged Gideon: “Why have you treated us this way? Why didn’t you send for us when you first went out to fight the Midianites?” (Judges 8:1).

Ephraim obviously didn’t know the backstory. Gideon could have said, “Hey, listen, I was doing exactly what God told me to do. Why don’t you take it up with Him?” But he didn’t. Instead, he employed a deft blend of humility and diplomacy.

“God gave you victory over Oreb and Zeeb, the commanders of the Midianite army,” he said. “What have I accomplished, compared to that?” The historical account tells us, “When the men of Ephraim heard Gideon’s answer, their anger subsided” (v.3).

It’s our human tendency to deflect blame. We try to absolve ourselves for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one may be pride.

Jesus displayed the antithesis of pride. Although He lived a perfect life, He refused to defend Himself and willingly accepted the blame for us, paying for our sins on a cruel cross. In some small way we can reflect His life by choosing gentle words of reconciliation when we face conflict with others. Our vindication is best left to Him and His righteous ways. —Tim Gustafson

MORE: Read John 18:19-23, 19:8-11 to see how Jesus refused to vindicate Himself.

NEXT: What’s your reflexive response to criticism and blame? How do you think Jesus might handle false blame?

About this Plan

Our Daily Journey: A 30-Day Walk With Jesus

Every journey requires supplies. On the journey of life, some of the best supplies are God’s Word and a bit of encouragement from friends. This Our Daily Journey reading plan features 30 days of writing from trusted auth...

We would like to thank Our Daily Bread Ministries for providing this plan. For more information, please visit: http://ourdailyjourney.org

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