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Posts Tagged ‘blame’

Recovery

October 4th, 2013

“We are . . perplexed, but not in despair . . struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:8 NKJV.

Beyond the pain, you will find God and the help you need for recovery.

My thoughts and comments today are about “recovery.”

Life can intrude in the harshest of ways. Your pain screams questions: “Why? Where is God? What can I do now?” In those moments, recovery is your need but not your expectation. There is good news, however. Beyond the pain, you will find God and the help you need for recovery.

While driven from Judah by King Saul’s treachery, David experienced the pain of a devastating loss. Read 1 Samuel 30. David and his brave men went to battle; returning to their homes in Ziklag, they were shocked beyond belief to find that a cruel enemy had plundered and burned their homes, taking their wives and children captive. They were devastated, having lost what was precious and irreplaceable. Loss often feels irrevocable. For you, it is; for God, it’s not.

First, they wept. (Vs. 4) Grieving for your loss is normal and a door to healing and recovery; great disappointment and loss are not experienced casually. You will grieve when loss occurs that you don’t anticipate. There are circumstances that “just happen” to one and all. See John 16:33 NKJV. And there are spiritual adversities calculated to devastate and diminish. See John 10:10 NKJV.

Second, they blamed. (Vs. 6) Blame is unprofitable, a waste of time usually misdirected – neither reducing pain, restoring loss, nor supporting recovery. They blamed David and spoke of stoning him. Pain tempts you to blame people, yourself, or God, feeding anger or despair while delaying a better future. Blame isolates you from help and distracts you from hope.   

Third, they found strength. (Vs.6) “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” When your soul is disheartened, find strength in God. See Psalm 61:1-3 NKJV. Beyond the pain, you will find God; that’s where healing begins. You are neither the first or last to face difficulty. You are in good company. “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-9/15 NKJV. If you face and feel the first of those real life experiences, you can choose to affirm and believe you can be the latter.

Fourth, they sought God. (Vs. 8) David inquired of the Lord . . ‘Shall I pursue? Shall I overtake them?’” When David sought God’s wisdom, the One who “is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end . . Declaring the end from the beginning,” assured David of victory. See Revelation 1:8/Isaiah 46:10 NKJV. The first step toward restoration is changing your question from, “Why?” to “What do I do now?” Read James 1:2-8 NKJV. My favorite description of wisdom is, “Wisdom is the ability to see your present situation from God’s perspective.” Such wisdom comes only from God. Read Ephesians 3:17-23 NIV.

Fifth, they believed God. God rewards courageous obedience; “Go after them. You will surely recover everything that was taken from you.” 1 Samuel 30:8 NLT. Everything? Yes, everything! There is no loss God cannot restore. See 1 Samuel 30:16-20 NKJV. My Dad taught me a spiritual bottom line: “God will never take anything away from you, nor allow anyone else to do so, except to make room for something better for you.” Is there room for something better in your life right now? In pain and loss, God is faithful to reward your trust, heal your pain, and restore your loss.

My prayer for you today is: look past the pain and find your hope and help in God.

 

 

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Taking Responsibility

May 8th, 2013

“I am innocent . . the responsibility is yours.” Matthew 27:24 NLT.

Being a Christ-follower is simple, not complex; just follow Jesus.

My thoughts and comments today are about “taking responsibility.”

When religious leaders accused Jesus before Pilate, the Roman Governor questioned Him and announced, “I find no fault in this man.’” Matthew 23:4 NIV. He could have set Jesus free with a single word, but he did not. Instead, “He sent for a bowl of water and washed his hands, saying, ’I am innocent of the blood of this man. The responsibility is yours.’” Matthew 27:24 NLT. There was enough blame for everyone. In washing his hands Pilate thought he was through with the matter, but is more remembered for that single act than anything else he ever said or did. Washing his hands became a symbolism for every attempt to deflect blame onto another by deferring individual responsibility.

Who hasn’t heard a child’s self-justifying excuse for misbehavior, “He hit me first; well, she started it.” There is always an excuse for one’s own behavior if willing to blame someone else. Taking responsibility does not come naturally; it has to be taught and learned. Never confuse excuses with reasons. If you are looking for someone or something to blame for your shortcomings or failures, you can always find an excuse for why you did not do what you should or why you are not what you are supposed to be.

Shifting blame is a cowardly practice, but one as old as the human race. The practice began at creation and continues uninterrupted yet today. Deferring personal responsibility by assigning blame is nothing new. In Eden, Eve was tempted and readily included Adam. Read Genesis 3:1-13 NIV. When their disobedience was exposed, Eve blamed the temptation; Adam blamed Eve, then even blamed God. “’The man said, ‘The woman You put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the Lord God said, ‘What is this you have done?’” Genesis 3:12-13 NIV.

God who is always just – and always right – addressed individual responsibility and assigned fitting consequences to the Deceiver, then to Eve, and finally to Adam. God will hold each person responsible for our own thoughts, feelings, words, or actions. Read Romans 14:12-13 NKJV. And thus the die was cast in human hearts and history. By choice, you bear your spiritual heritage, whether of Adam or Christ.

Godly Character requires that you accept personal accountability, in order to change and mature. Others will carry their own guilt for their choices; for your choices, you bear your own responsibility. See Romans 2:6-11 NIV. When Peter questioned how God would handle John, Jesus’ response was clear and to the point, “What is that to you? You follow Me.” John 21:18-22 NKJV.

Being a Christ-follower is simple, not complex; just follow Jesus. Your responsibility before God is singular, just as your response to Him must be. Leave the moral frailties and spiritual failures of others for God to sort out, while you keep your heart clear before Him. Read Matthew 7:1-5 NLT. On a cross, the One who had no sins of His own took full responsibility for your sins and mine. 2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV. The Righteous One will deal with each of us with grace and truth. “For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth came though Jesus Christ.” See John 1:14-18 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you will keep your eyes on Jesus alone.

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Helping Hands

November 7th, 2012

“Two people . . get a better return for their labor.” Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT.

People hesitant to share credit for what is accomplished will share blame for what fails.

My thoughts and comments today are about “helping hands.”

No person’s success is theirs alone. We are all debtors to others. Nehemiah faced a daunting task. Jerusalem lay in ruins, walls in rubble, gates in disrepair. Jerusalem, once the glory of Israel was now the ridicule of its neighbors. A need had been seen; a dream had been born. Read Nehemiah 1:1-11. God placed in one heart what can only be accomplished with the help of many hands. God placed an assignment within his heart to begin the restoration of this once proud city where God’s Name would again be known. But where would he begin?

Without fanfare or press conferences, Nehemiah first enlisted a few others to quietly survey with him the extent of the work to be done and devise a strategy equal to the task. Success is a process, not a chance occurrence. No one plans to fail, but you must plan to succeed. Nehemiah 2:11-16.

At the proper time, he shared the vision and the need, along with his excitement and assurance with those without whose help he could not accomplish his plan. Nehemiah 2:17-18. The task was no longer his alone; everyone had a part. In record time and with much help from many, Nehemiah could say, “We built the wall . . for the people had a mind to work!” Nehemiah 4:6. Read Nehemiah 3. What God started in one heart succeeded because Nehemiah understood this: the power of all of us working together is greater than any one of us working alone. Sharing the work lightens the task; sharing the credit multiplies the rejoicing.

At Creation, God recognized, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper for him.” Genesis 2:18. That is a life principle that is broader than mere companionship. God’s purposes for your life are bigger than you can do alone and never successful without His help, and the partnership of others.

You were not made to accomplish God’s purposes all by yourself. Self-sufficiency is the enemy of your greatest success. There seems to exist some need to stand alone, to be independent, but your success will be lessened and your satisfaction lacking.

Most of what you achieve, and certainly the best of what you accomplish, will be with the support and assistance of others. “Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor . . three are even better.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT. Trust me; God’s way is best. If what God calls you to do seems too big, He will provide the helping hands you need.

There is something else that I have observed. The very people who are most hesitant to share the credit for what is accomplished are often quick to shovel a share of blame for what fails. It is often said, and truly so, there is no limit to what can be done when nobody cares who gets the credit. Personally accept responsibility; generously share the praise; always give God the glory!

My prayer for you today is: lend a hand to others and always have the help you need.

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Together is Better

February 27th, 2012

“Thus far the Lord has helped us. 1 Samuel 7:12 NIV

“Rarely, if ever, can a person truly say, ‘I did it all by myself.’”

My thoughts and comments today are that “together is better.”

When you take an honest look at life, you recognize that whatever your successes, there were few things you achieved by your efforts alone. Rarely, if ever, can a person truly say, “I did it all by myself.” And if you did, you did not do it as well as you could have with others’ help; together is better! “Two are better than one . .” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV. Why does it seem important for a person to claim full credit? What drives a person to need to believe an achievement is theirs alone? Those who fail to appreciate and acknowledge the contribution of others will eventually find themselves without others’ help.

The seed of that need is insecurity. If you struggle with that, maybe you need to become “comfortable in your own skin.” Security within yourself occurs when you are at ease with what your abilities are, as well as what they are not. Insecurity is not uncommon and only means that you have not identified the extent and limits of your securities. It is healthy and helpful to recognize that you have both. However multi-talented you may be, no one – not even you – possesses every ability, skill, and talent for every task. Insecurity insists that others know what you can do but worries they may find out what you cannot.

Letting people think you can do it all by yourself is an exhausting way to live. You will never do as much, never do as well, and never be as satisfied. Anyone has something to contribute to make the work of everyone a little more, a little better. God says, “Give to everyone what you owe them . . give respect and honor to whom it is due.” Romans 13:7 NLT. To whom it is due; so simple and practical a lesson to remember. Be thankful for others’ help and generous to share credit where due. If you require all the credit for what is done, you will receive all the blame for what was not done well.

When you do succeed, through benefit of the unrecognized work of others, pride is birthed from the insecurities you carefully deny. Pride is a tyrant that cannot allow or admit any failure, but with pride failure is inevitable. The Bible warns, “Pride goes before destruction and haughtiness before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18. The longer that takes, the greater and further the fall. The Bible says, “God sets Himself against the proud, but He shows favor to the humble.” 1 Peter 5:5 NLT. Better to have God for you, than resisting you; don’t you think?

“Be down to earth with each other for – God has had it with the proud, but takes delight in just plain people. So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is upon you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you.” 1 Peter 5:5-7 The Message. Content, carefree, and cared for, that’s what God promises; isn’t that what you want most?

Samuel led Israel in a great victory. Their constant enemy, the Philistines, had been soundly defeated. It takes a leader to lead, but it takes more than one man to win a war. Samuel recognized his part was not apart from the help of God and others. “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12 NIV. Notice two words: the Lord, and us!  Samuel gave credit where credit was due. Where you include God, God includes you. See Psalm 28:7 NIV. The result? Continued success for everyone! “So the Philistines were subdued . . and throughout Samuel’s lifetime, the Lord’s powerful hand was raised against the Philistines.” 1 Samuel 7:13 NLT. Why do alone what you can do better with God and others?

My prayer today for you is that you feel no need for the credit, nor requirement to do it all alone.

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Blame

November 4th, 2010

“Don’t try to disclaim responsibility by saying you didn’t know.” Proverbs 24.12 TLB

Blame is a lame attempt to avoid facing your own truth.”

My thoughts today are about “blame.”

What kid has not deflected blame by saying, “It’s not my  fault; it’s theirs!” Blaming someone else never does much good, but people do it all the time. Adam and Eve did it in the otherwise perfect surroundings of Eden, and most everyone since has done so. Imagine how much better everything would be today if they had just said, “Yeah, I did it; I was wrong; I’m sorry!”

Blame McDonalds for their coffee being too hot when you clumsily spill the cup in your lap. Blame your parents for your unhappiness as an adult. Blame the fast food industry for your obesity when you can’t resist “biggie sizing.” Blame the auto manufacturer when your unsafe driving causes a tragic accident. Blame the President, or Congress, or Democrats, or Republicans, or all of the above, when the world’s political situations are not to your liking. Does it change anything?

Assigning fault and blame in any situation is not as easy as you may presume, because of our always limited knowledge and often faulty judgment. Be charitable when forming opinions about others, as you hope others will view you charitably. “Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.” Romans 14:4 NKJV. It is easier to fault others than accept responsibility yourself. Read Matthew 7:1-5 NLT.

On President Harry Truman’s desk in the Oval Office was a sign that read simply, “The buck stops here.” He had to make some difficult and unpopular decisions, such as the first use of an atomic bomb against Japan to end World War ll. But he accepted full responsibility for his actions and decisions. As our 33rd President (1945-53), he led our nation at a challenging time of war in Japan and later in Korea, as well as dealing with a struggling economy.

He was not always popular, but was respected for his mid-western honesty. In office, he had the lowest approval of any President before or since, but some political historians would now rank Harry Truman among the top ten Presidents, along with Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.

Blame is usually a lame attempt to avoid facing your own truth. Do you believe what Jesus said? “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32. Avoiding the truth is the surest way to keep re-living your mistakes, and then wondering why. Until you admit your mistake, you keep having problems and placing blame elsewhere. “Don’t try to disclaim responsibility by saying you didn’t know . . God knows all hearts . . and He will reward everyone according to their deeds.” Proverbs 24:12 TLB.

There is one sure way to stop “passing the buck.” Live in such a way that you are without blame yourself, and you will see no need to shuffle the blame to any other! “That you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a generation . . among whom you shine like stars in the world. Hold firmly the message of life . . ” Philippians 2:15-16.

My prayer for you is that you will always value truth, and live in its freedom.

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