Our minds are challenged daily by many options and opportunities. From within the depths of who we are, our responses, reactions, and reasoning spill forth . Without honestly meditating on the source of a challenge, we can respond with a defense that carries with it an appearance of wisdom in Christianity that is actually exercising The Word out of context in hopes of quelling confrontations upon our character. The reality is that God is continuously orchestrating times of testing for the purpose of getting us to look at ourselves from the outside in...simply put, He is revealing the true present condition of our hearts. When we prioritize our human comfort over the process of sanctification, the renewing of the mind does not take place. We learn, by habitually defending ourselves, how to effectively avoid discipline in our lives, while at the same time teaching those new in the faith who stand nearby how confrontations should be dealt with; we train others to follow in the same manner of rebellion and disobedience for the cause of saving face.
When we restrain the initial desire to react, humble ourselves before God and intentionally consider why a particular circumstance is causing discomfort in us, we can discern the true reason for our grievance.
If it is trouble from man, you will suffer hurt pride. Our obvious actions and our self-perceived personal identities are constantly challenged as we engage others, and in the natural bent of our depravity we will rise in defense of ourselves. Jesus, however, who was perfectly identified with the Father, never took anything personally, but on all counts was grieved by the activities of the selfish human nature that consistently attempted to take advantage of his fellow man at the expense of an intimate relationship with God.
If it is discipline from the Holy Spirit, you will experience a grieved spirit. His truth pierces our soul like a double edged sword, exposing our hidden motives and revealing to us who we truly are. Admitting this is difficult enough when you are alone; it is magnified when in the presence of others. That is the ultimate form of humility before God. When we can accept that we are nothing apart from Christ, then we recognize we have nothing to be proud of...unless we still embrace the importance of what others think about us over what God is trying to accomplish in and through us.
"I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent." (Revelations 3:18,19)
"But if we judged ourselves truly, we would not be judged. But when we are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined so that we may not be condemned along with the world." (1Corinthians 11:32)