From the Pastor’s Heart,
Some of you may have noticed that I didn’t send out a newsletter last week. I try to send it out every Wednesday but last week it was Thursday before I realized I had forgotten to do it. So, here it is Wednesday again. I’m grateful that the emotionally healthy study we are doing seems to be going well. It’s evident that at least for some it is having an impact. I know it is for me. You might think that after 50 years in pastoral ministry I shouldn’t have a whole lot left to learn. But I’ve discovered that growing up in Christ is a life long process. Even the Apostle Paul was still striving to reach the goal as he neared the end of his life. So I suppose it should not surprise us if we find ourselves needing to grow and mature no matter how old we might be.
Last Sunday in our study we considered the need to quit blaming. I don’t know about you but I thought that lesson hit pretty hard. Like lying, that we looked at earlier, it is something that everyone seems to do. In fact we live is a culture that seems to be consumed with blaming. It seems that everyone blames everyone else for whatever happens with no thought of taking responsibility for their own lives. There seems to be an epidemic of victimhood thinking that results in attitudes and actions that are not helpful.
In our Scripture lesson we read about the first blaming. Adam and Eve, the first created human beings, were placed in a beautiful place with everything they needed. However, God placed some boundaries in their lives with a warning of what would happen should they be crossed. But the enemy came and placed doubt in their hearts about God’s intention concerning those boundaries. That doubt lead them to question God’s motives and they lost trust in Him. Once trust was lost they rebelled against the boundaries God had set and declared their independence from God’s control. This resulted in them being afraid of God as He called out to them. When God confronted Adam, he blamed it on Eve and when God confronted Eve she blamed it on the enemy that had deceived her. Doubt lead to distrust. Distrust lead to rebellion. Rebellion lead to blame. Blaming has it’s roots in the demonic. No wonder it is so devastating.
Mankind has been blaming ever since. The answer to blaming is to take responsibility for our own thoughts, attitudes, actions and situations. That doesn’t mean we don’t suffer at times because of what others may have done or not done. But blaming doesn’t help us. Instead it keeps us from helping ourselves and actually hinders God from helping us. It is one thing for those who do not know God to blame each other but for us as Christians we are called to be different. The Scripture is pretty clear that we are to be known for our love not our blaming. Ouch. This is definitely one of the things we need to quit doing if we have a desire to grow up and become mature in Christ.