Focus-Shifting: It’s The Tool of Blame-Shifting

2 Corinthians 10:10 ESV  For they say, “His letters are weighty and strong, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech of no account.”

The real issue at Corinth was the truth of the gospel and the false gospel wicked “apostles” were introducing. They hated Paul and they hated the truth of Christ, but instead of arguing what we might call the “merits of the case,” they changed the focus and made attacks upon Paul’s style of speech and physical appearance.

This business of shifting the focus from the real issue to some detour topic is a sure sign that evil is afoot, working to pull off another “shift” – the shifting of blame.

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The Error of Regarding the Wicked as Victims of Sin

Are you weary, are you heavyhearted?
Tell it to Jesus,
Tell it to Jesus;
Are you grieving over joys departed?
Tell it to Jesus alone.

Tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus,
He is a friend that’s well known;
You’ve no other such a friend or brother,
Tell it to Jesus alone. [Jeremiah Rankin, mid- 1800’s]

There certainly is a category of sinner who is heavy-hearted and grieving. It is this very type of person the Lord addresses in such passages as:

John 7:37 ESV  On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

Matthew 11:28 ESV  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Such people thirst and are burdened because of their sin and because the Lord has brought them under conviction of that sin in order to drive them to Christ. This is the function of the Law as it thunders condemnation to the guilty.

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A Warning Sign – Counselors who are Self-Centered

Philippians 1:15-17 ESV  Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.  (16)  The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel.  (17)  The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.

I wanted to take time in this post to caution everyone in regard to a particular brand of counselor or therapist or pastor or other such person who claims to want to “help” people. There are many kinds who we must be wise to and avoid, but the kind I want to talk about here is the “counselor” who makes the counseling all about themselves. I don’t know if you have met such people, but I have and I have run across them often enough that I felt this warning to be necessary.

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