Daily Devotion

The Crooked Pointing Finger of Blame
"All of us make a lot of mistakes. If someone doesn't make any mistakes when he speaks, he would be perfect. He would be able to control everything he does."  James 3:2
It always seems easier to point our fingers at someone else when things are going haywire in our lives.  We do not like being responsible for anything; no one likes accepting fault and taking responsibility in bad situations.  But as my second father said last night and my own little variation:  when you point the finger at someone else, you have three pointing directly back at you.
The infamous Pharisees and Sadduccees were always trying to find something wrong with Jesus.  They hated that He always answered their tricky questions and embarrassed them.  They were judgmental of His eating and socializing with sinners, healing people, and preaching.  But they themselves did not always live by the Law.  They obeyed what they wanted and broke laws that they felt did not apply to them.(Matt 16:1-11, Luke 5:33, John 7:32, Mark 2:18)  Haven't you met people like that, always finding something wrong with you or blaming others for their problems?  Yet their solutions often bend the rules or involve them vindicating themselves.  I recently had the experience with a stranger and also some very close to me, where they are questioning their faith because of the difficulties or trauma in their lives.  But I ask the question, if you are living according to your own plan, how can you doubt God when your own plans have failed or caused you great pain?  Isn't your present state evidence enough of His existence and greatness?  Isn't His power and how He has worked for you in the past evidence that things can truly change?
Look at me.  I was disobedient and chose to stay in my major when I have known my entire life that I was supposed to be doing something related to counseling. Even when I figured it out my junior year, I still did not change my major.  I said to myself, "Self, we are gonna stay in this major and make lots of money.  We love math so its just as close.  Plus we can always go back to school later."  Well little did I know how close I would come several times to not seeing that later!  I have had so many close brushes with death that it reminds me just how much favor I have and that God has a great plan for my life that He wants me to finish.  Once I got my plan in line with His(and this is a DAILY process), which was not until recently, and only then did I get peace.  I had some terrible things to happen that I opened myself up to by not yielding to Him, by being disobedient, and I found everyone and everything I could to place the blame.  Until I was walking in God's will and accepted as the priority above my own, He would keep doing and allowing what He needed in my life to get me into the fold.  I had to stop blaming others for everything that happened in my life–the kidney failure, the personal difficulties, even now with my feelings about my living situation and work.  I was not living blamelessly, so how could I truly expect to not feel the consequences, good and bad, of my choices?(Phil 2:15)  And yes God has already made some of the side effects work out for my good–new kidney from my brother, peace because I am sharing what He tells me with others, and just happiness.(Romans 8:28)  And I definitely have no doubt that things will continue to do so.
Quit blaming everyone and everything.  I always ask my mentee what did she do in a situation to cause it escalate when she gets in trouble, because when things go wrong most times we have always contributed to it.  Yes there are circumstances where things happen just because of the world we live in.  We cannot control the evils of others.  But always look at yourself first.  Do you have unforgiveness and bitterness in your heart–how can you expect to truly progress?  You already have boulders dragging you down, slowing your progress.  Did something not turn out the way you thought it would?  Did you even ask for help?  I try to say this everyday:  "Life is not meant to be easy.  Some things will not turn out how I plan, but pain is temporary.  But I ask you Lord to direct my steps and lead me in Your will.  God loves me unconditionally."  God's will does not fail; He will keep you from falling!(Jude 1:24)
I want to share this with you.  Romans 1:25 tells us that the truth of God has been exchanged for a lie.  We do that when we point the finger or get angry and upset with God because we do not understand.  God's ways are not our ways; we do not always immediately understand.(Isa 55:8, Proverbs 3:5)  But as long as we yield to His way, life will be easier.  Look at Jonah; his life fell apart when he disobeyed God.  It's hard when you are going against everything you know, everything you see, everything you feel.  But remember regardless of whatever way that finger is pointed–up at God, or around you at something or someone, you still point at least three back at yourself.  Be encouraged today!
"If someone obeys all of God's laws except one, that person is guilty of breaking all of them."  James 2:10

"For this reason, my brothers, take all the more care to make your selection and approval certain; for if you do these things you will never have a fall:"  2 Peter 1:10


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