Before you know it the New Year will be here. I hope your New Year’s plans include reading through the Bible in a year in 2017. Reading, studying, meditating on and obeying God’s Word should be our lifelong adventure.
No matter how much you have gotten out of your reading in the Scriptures this year, you will get abundantly more during the next and the next and the next! Continue reading →
Blameshifting … believing we are merely the victim of chance, circumstances, biology, or the actions of others can lead to hopelessness and despair. How can we help others and ourselves respond in ways that are pleasing to God and lead to peace, joy, blessings, and genuine life change?
Also read about Daniel’s incredible prophecies, the challenges of praising God in the midst of life in a fallen world, and see another example of how the Old Testament and the New fit together in one story … God’s story.
Daniel 7 & 8
2 Peter 3.1-18
“If a king faithfully judges the poor, his throne will be established forever.”
Faithful leaders are those who judge fairly. They don’t allow the poor to be taken advantage of because of their poverty, but neither do they make special allowances for them because of it.
Notice I said allowances not provision. The Bible clearly talks about providing for the genuinely poor. Farmers were to leave behind some of their produce so the poor could gather it. If you read the book of Ruth you see a beautiful picture of this. And other passages in Proverbs and elsewhere clearly say that we should have compassion on the poor (Prov.14.21, 31, 19.17, 21.13 and others).
I would love to expand on that idea of the “genuinely poor,” but that will have to be the subject of another post. Suffice it to say that we have allowed an entitlement attitude to take root in our nation that has hurt people more than helped them.
Blameshifting & Finger Pointing
But the other issue is making special provision, really excusing sinful behavior, because of poverty. Consequently, blameshifting and finger-pointing are at an all-time high. No one wants to take responsibility for his or her own actions.
Girls aren’t responsible for sexual misbehavior because their fathers “weren’t there for them.” I’m not saying it doesn’t influence behavior, but it doesn’t determine it. A bad or absent father may be a stumbling block or make it easier for his daughter to sin in that way, but she can still choose to do what’s right and is responsible for her choice.
Young people aren’t to blame for getting involved with gangs because they “just want to belong.” Single moms and poverty are to blame instead. Again it’s true that the breakdown of the family has contributed greatly to the condition of our culture, but as individuals, we are responsible to make wise and right choices.
Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right (Prov. 20.11).
Thieves are not to blame for their actions. Poverty and a lack of education are to blame.
Drunkards are not responsible for bad behavior and fatalities. They have a disease, alcoholism, and lawyers stand ready to defend them. Continue reading →