“Are You Playing the Blame Game?” June 17

 

Are You Playing the Blame Game? - The blame game—we’re good at it! We blame others, even God, for our sin and its consequences, twisting the facts and pointing the finger at the most convenient target.The blame game—we’re good at it! We blame others, even God, for our sin and its consequences, twisting the facts and pointing the finger at the most convenient target.

 

Today’s Readings:
2 Kings 22,23 & 24
Psalm 74.18-23
Proverbs 19.3
Acts 2.22-47

 

Are You Playing the Blame Game?

 

“It’s Their Fault!”

2 Kings 22, 23 & 24:

 

It’s all too common for people today to play the “Blame Game” by blaming their problems or their spiritual condition on their parents and others, but here was Josiah who had a horrible spiritual heritage. Both his father and his grandfather did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, yet 23.25 says:

“Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the LORD with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him.”

Wow! In spite of his family of origin, Josiah loved and served the Lord.

Are You Playing the Blame Game?But, we don’t limit our blaming to our parents. We blame our spouses, our heritage, our temperament, our circumstances, and even God.

No matter who our parents or grandparents were, no matter who we’re married to, no matter where we were born, we’re responsible for our choices. While other people can make it more difficult for us, nothing they do can make us sin (1 Cor. 10.13; Ezek. 18.20)! And nothing in our lives can keep us from turning to God “with all our heart, all our soul, and all our might, just as Josiah did!

 

A Mother’s Influence

 

Have you noticed that as the history of Judah’s kings has been recounted, God included the names of their mothers, as well as, their fathers? In Josiah’s case, he was only eight years old when he began to reign. It’s unlikely that he made the decisions he did without wise counsel. And who do you suppose was the most likely counselor of an eight-year-old boy? Perhaps, it was his mother.

Mothers and grandmothers can make a big difference in the lives of their children and grand-children—for good or for evil. Remember Athaliah who had her own grandchildren put to death so she could seize control. It’s no wonder her son Ahaziah was a wicked king.

In the New Testament Paul wrote to Timothy about “the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Tim. 1.5).

I’m so encouraged by so many of the mothers and grandmothers I know and by many of you in the blogging world, who are seeking to leave behind that kind of legacy.

 And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart (Gal. 6.9).

 

Blaming God

Proverbs 19.3:

 

“The foolishness of a man twists his way, and his heart frets against the LORD.”

It started in the Garden of Eden. When faced with their sin and its consequences, Adam said, the woman you gave me, she made me sin! So it’s her fault, and by the way, it’s Yours, Lord, because You gave her to me! We’ve been doing it ever since, blaming God, as well as others, for the results of our own choices.

 

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

In Jesus Name

Psalm 74.18-23:

 

As the psalmist’s prayer continues, he says, “Have respect to the covenant” (Ps. 17.20). He came to God based on His covenant relationship with His people.

We, too, come to God, not based on anything we deserve, but on the New Covenant. That’s the reason we pray “in Jesus name.” We’re saying in effect, I come to you based on the finished work of Jesus Christ and because I’m in Him.

 

Acts 2.22-47:

Jesus, Whom You Crucified

 

One of our former pastors used to say, “You won’t see people saved until they see that they’re lost.”

Sometimes that means we must be direct with people by calling sin what it is and calling them to repentance. Most of us see ourselves as basically “good”—“Most men will proclaim each his own goodness …” (Prov. 20.6), but Scripture says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3.23).

Acts 2.36-39:

36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”

Talk about direct! “… Jesus, whom you crucified …” God has called us to love people enough to share the truth of the Gospel with them, including the fact that they are sinners in need of a Savior. That sometimes means risking their friendship and favor in the short run, with a view to their eternal destiny.

Blessings,
Donna



I sometimes LINKUP with these blogs.

“How Blameshifting Leads to Despair” December 2

 

How Blameshifting Leads to Despair

 

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.

 

Today’s Readings:
Daniel 7 & 8
Psalm 137.1-6
Proverbs 29.14
2 Peter 3.1-18

 

How Blameshifting Leads to Despair

 

Proverbs 29.14:

Provision Not Entitlement

 

“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

 

finger pointingBut 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.

Teenage Boy gangYoung 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

December 2 “How blameshifting leads to hopelessness”

blameshiftingBlameshifting … believing we are merely a victim of chance or circumstances or the actions of others leads to hopelessness, despair, and ultimately, behavior that is self-destructive, harmful to others and offensive to God.

Today’s Readings:
Daniel 7 & 8
Psalm 137.1-6
Proverbs 29.14
2 Peter 3.1-18

 

 

Daniel 7 & 8:

God’s control of world events

Just like Revelation in the New Testament, the book of Daniel boldly demonstrates God’s complete foreknowledge and control of world events. In chapter 7, God gave Daniel a dream with the same prophetic meaning as Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue. The four beasts represent the same four empires. Verses 9-14 talk about the second coming of Christ, “I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven” (v. 13).

In chapter 8 the ram with the two horns was the second empire represented by the chest and arms of silver on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue—the Medo-Persian Empire. The ram was overcome by a goat with a large horn, which would be Alexander the Great and Greece. The horn that was broken off foretold the early death of Alexander the Great and the four horns which took its place, Alexander’s four captains who would assume power. The vision also foretold of great persecution that was to come on his people and the church of God.

But it doesn’t stop there as we’ll see over the next couple of days.

 

Psalm 137.1-6:

Worshipping God in a foreign land

Verse 4, “How shall we sing the LORD’s song in a foreign land?”

The people of God found it very hard to worship and praise Him while they were in a foreign land. We, too, are aliens and strangers in this world, and our worship and praise are tempered by the struggles of living in a sin-cursed world. But, one day when we stand before Him and all the troubles and trials of this life are gone, we will worship Him without hindrance forever!

 

headache, tragedyProverbs 29.14:

How blameshifting leads to hopelessness

“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 to 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).

But today blameshifting and finger-pointing are at an all-time high. No one wants to take responsibility for his own actions. And, as a society, we are quick to explain away sinful behavior.

Girls aren’t Continue reading