Friday, January 26, 2018

Looking for Blame in All the Wrong Places

When my son was very young, he had a problem with assigning blame to the wrong people. For instance, he would trip because he wasn't paying attention and then say that he had been pushed by whomever was behind him.  Or he would trip into you and hit his nose on your leg because he couldn't stop fast enough and then say that you kicked him.  When something happened that hurt or was unpleasant he couldn't bring himself to understand that he had any responsibility for it, he always assumed it was someone else's fault.  It nearly drove me crazy, but he did grow out of it. Now I can trust that when he says, "Somebody pushed me," that someone probably did push him.

Unfortunately, when it comes to God, many of us never grow out of the stage.  Proverbs 19:3 describes this phenomenon: "A man's own foolishness leads him astray, yet his heart rages against the Lord"
 (HCSB) . Quite often we get ourselves into messes that we then blame on God.  We mishandle our finances and then blame God for not providing for us better. We ignore our spouse and children and then blame God when our family falls apart.  We  make an unwise relationship decision and then blame God for not bringing the "right" person into our life.

We rationalize our blame of God by saying that God is all-powerful and should have prevented the bad decision or that, God is supposed to be loving and so God shouldn't let us go through heartbreak or difficulty.  When the truth of the matter is, God is honoring our own decisions and letting the consequences of those decisions play out. But we would rather blame someone else than look at ourselves and admit where we've messed up, so we presume to arrogantly blame God for the messes we have created.

Fortunately, when we find ourselves facing the consequences for our actions, God does offer us hope. In 2 Chronicles 7:14 God warns the Israelites that when they suffer the consequences for their own bad decisions that "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land" (NIV).  God offers forgiveness and help in the wake of bad decisions and sinful choices, but we must be willing to "turn from our wicked ways" which is impossible if we can't own up to them. Oh, we may silently admit that we did something wrong and secretly commit to do better, but such commitments never last. Lasting change normally doesn't come until we are able to own up to what we have done rather than feel the need to hide it.

God wants to help us deal with the consequences of foolish decisions, but nothing can change while we are blaming God for our own mistakes. Let's own up to our mistakes and not waste time blaming God.

Being an Angry Tattle-Tale

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