Who's to Blame?
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged. ...Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"
Matthew 7:1;3 NIV
This mess has to be someone's fault.
And it isn't mine.
When everything goes wrong, our human nature wants someone to blame.
When we’re stressed, when life lets us down, and especially when we feel like we haven’t measured up, our sinful human pride looks for someone to blame - a scapegoat - someone to throw under the bus.
Maybe it’s our man, our mom, or our mother-in-law.
Maybe an unruly child - the strong-willed, difficult one.
Maybe a boss, coworker, former best friend, or an ex.
Maybe we blame governments, politicians, and culture. Or we blame other nation's governments, the other side's politicians, or other alternative cultures.
Maybe we blame sinners. They've ruined our land and brought God's wrath on our nation and our world.
Let's see what's God's word says about that.
“But don’t look for someone to blame. No finger pointing! ... My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true." Hosea 4:4;6 MSG
Whoever is taking the blame for our hurts and disappointments today, let’s change our tune. Let’s remember that this person or group also struggles with hurts and disappointments.
Sure, some of us sin more than others. Yet on a daily basis, we ALL contribute to the sin that corrupts our world.
Think of a pristine stream flowing through waving green grasses. I picture a lowcountry marsh here in Charleston. Blue water and green grass ripple as far as the eye can see. A flock of pelicans fly overhead. Fish jump from the surface and the water comes alive. A tall white herons dips in a splindly leg. And there... at the edge of the grass...
... floats a fast food wrapper.
It's no longer pristine, is it?
Just like that ONE piece of litter, it only takes ONE sin to ruin God's glorious world.
Someone else may have tossed in a trash bag full of garbage, but even if they hadn't, our ONE SIN still ruined the perfection of God's beauty.
So let's stop pointing fingers. We've all sinned and come short of God's glory.
This week, I was convicted of the tendency to blame others when things weren't going well. Call it stress, or circumstances, or whatever you want to call it.
Truth is, sinful pride causes me to blame others.
This mess has to be someone's fault. And it isn't mine.
Maybe we screamed at the kids or ran out of toilet paper. Maybe we leveraged our finances or procrastinated in uncertainty. Whether our sin has been blatant and ugly or discreet and subtle -- we hate to admit our shortcomings. Yet we all have them.
All of our collective sin comes from one someone. Satan is the father of pride and the author of lies. He causes every hurt and disappointment.
But we don’t have to listen to him.
We have free choice. And while it’s free, it’s not easy.
We must tap into God’s strength to be the people He created us to be.
Free. Honest. God’s less than perfect children.
Let's confess the plank in our own eye, and recognize what's right and true.
Our faithful God forgives with grace when we seek Him.
Our powerful God loves His people and keeps His promises.
Our sovereign God conquers Satan and sin in victory!
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23