Friday, February 9, 2024

Looking for Blame in All the Wrong Places

Suggested Reading: Romans 7:7-25

One of the frustrations of parenting is that nearly all children go through a phase where they blame their parents when they get in trouble. Instead of looking at themselves when they face consequences for hurting someone, they get mad at you for giving out the consequences. Rather than dealing with the fact that they lied, they get angry with you for calling them on it. The reaction is perfectly in keeping with human nature and, fortunately, most of us grow out of this phase. But even when we grow beyond this default reaction, it is a tool that we cling to when we encounter consequences we really don’t like.

Paul responded to a similar reaction to the Old Testament Law in Romans 7:7 saying, What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet (HCSB). Some people in Paul’s experience, because of their own rebellious nature, responded to the Law with a desire to sin and then chose to blame the law for their choice. They tried to argue that their own choices weren’t the problem but that getting rid of the law would get rid of their sin. The mentality rested upon a foundation of “if there are no rules to break, we can’t be punished for breaking the rules.” They fundamentally misunderstood the nature of sin. So rather than dealing with themselves, they chose to blame the law.

We experience a lot of that in today’s society and people are falling away from Christ because of it. The “rules” of the Bible are more restrictive than some people are willing to deal with and so they begin to think that the “rules” are the problem. One person I know, addicted to pornography, decided that his addiction wasn’t the problem and so he tossed out the relationship with God that told him it was. Another, engaged in a sinful lifestyle, chose to keep calling himself a Christian but also decided to toss out as “flawed and barbaric” the scriptures which called his activities sinful.

Now, if you aren’t a Christian, feel perfectly free to toss out God and His Word. I don't expect you to live according to a system you haven't bought into. But if you are a believer, if you have experienced the movement of God in your life and are now doubting because that relationship creates tension with your behavior, don’t toss out the God you have known and experienced just because your actions don't measure up. Ask yourself, is it more likely that the God you have known and experienced never really existed or that you are trying to blame anything but yourself for what you know to be wrong?

If you want to continue doing things you know to be wrong, have the guts to be honest about it. Don’t suddenly pretend God doesn’t exist or decide the scriptures which guided you to Christ must now be outdated and barbaric. Don’t blame anyone or anything else because you want to make your own choices.

Trusting Jesus to Help You Trust

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