“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

October 26 “Those who are ‘really’ widows”

happy senior woman portraitPaul said the body of Christ should help provide for those who are “really widows.” Who are they and what should that look like?

Today’s Readings:
Jeremiah 37 & 38
Psalm 119.73-80
Proverbs 27.23-27
1 Timothy 5.1-25

 

Jeremiah 37 & 38:

Costly faith

Can you imagine being thrown into a dungeon and, eventually, into a well for speaking the truth? There is often a cost involved in following God. Sometimes it’s rejection by our families or friends and sometimes persecution in the work place or some other area of society. Jeremiah certainly suffered as a result of his unswerving faith and willingness to speak the truth.

What about us? We must ask ourselves, are we willing to stand up for the truth—in our families, work places, schools and universities? Or do we cave in when it’s too hard or costly? Continue reading

July 25 “Your kingdom come or His?”

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Jesus taught His disciples, and by extension us, to pray, “Your kingdom come. Your will be done.” Do you pray that way? If so, is it sincere or merely words? Whose kingdom are you really committed to, yours of His?

Today’s Readings:
Nehemiah 1 & 2
Psalm 88.11-18
Proverbs 21.25-26
Acts 25.1-27

Nehemiah 1 & 2:

Nehemiah’s cushy job

Nehemiah reminds me of Moses who:

“… refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt” (Heb. 11.24-26).

Nehemiah had a rather cushy job as cupbearer to the king (aside from the fact that if someone tried to poison the king he would drink it first!). But because of his job, he would have been a trusted friend to the king. He lived in the palace with many of its perks and benefits, but it didn’t stop him from grieving for and being concerned about the well-being of his people.

And he wasn’t just concerned, he was willing to do something about the situation—to give up his comfortable position and take a dangerous journey, go to a city that was largely unprotected, and undertake an enormous project.

What if …?

What if God called you to the mission field? Or to quit your job and work for Him full time? Or to accept a job with less financial benefits so you’re available to serve Him more? Would you be willing? Continue reading