Daily Devotion #3

Hold Yourself Accountable and Clean Up Your Own Mess!
"We know that whatever is in Moses' Teachings applies to everyone under their influence, and no one can say a thing. The whole world is brought under the judgment of God."
Romans 3:19 GWT
"Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God." Romans 3:19 NLT
We have all at some point or another blamed someone else for something that happened in our lives. For a long time I blamed the experiences of my childhood on my low self-esteem, and lack of love for myself.  But at some point you have to let that go–it happened, its over, but you have the CHOICE whether or not you will continue to allow it to control your future. Because YOU ultimately have the power to dictate what you decide to do!  You can choose to overcome your circumstances or let them guide and make your choices for you. But lets be real here: blame gets you NOWHERE!  Neither does judging someone because you don't deal with the real culprit–yourself. 
I have a little girl that I mentor.  Whenever I ask her how she behaved that day, and she happened to have done something wrong, she always starts out with what the other person did.  I always say to her, the moment you reacted, or did something back to them, you became involved.  You became a participant.  So stop making excuses and accept your role in the mess!!!
We often like to think that the circumstances of our upbringing or the things that have happened to us along the way should excuse us from any responsibility for our actions.  Ezekiel the prophet was told by God that he would be held accountable if he did not bring God's message to all of the people.  Their deaths would be on his hands. (Eze. 33:8)  His responsibility was to God, to do God's work; he could not dwell on the fact that the Israelites were wicked and evil, often threatening his very life.  He had to trust that God would protect him from anything they tried to do; else, why would God even require him to do so?
The central theme here is that God gave us free will to choose. Adam and Eve proved that way back in the Garden of Eden.  Adam knew that the fruit was forbidden because God gave the decree directly to him, but that did not stop him from blaming Eve. Yes there are some things out of our control like what family you are born into, your last name, your complexion, how tall you are, etc. There are even some terrible things out of your control like in my case, my kidneys deciding to fail. I have gone through a lot of things so far in my life. But you have the choice of whether to allow those situations to guide where your life will go.  Before I was a Christian (I gave my life to God when I was 9 years old), I was the oldest child in an alcoholic family.  That affected me greatly, still does, but I cannot blame my distrust of people on that.  I cannot blame my debt on the fact that I had a horrible doctor that misdiagnosed my kidney disease, and another to misdiagnose me with lupus.  But I can accept that I made the choice to spend money on things I did not need to, I can accept that I do not readily trust people because it makes it easy for me.  I can accept that I chose to move to Charleston even though I do not like it there now.  This does not dispute the fact that I am a child of God.  Accepting my part in my mess allows God to put things in proper perspective, and by accepting my role, I can get out of God's way and let Him have control and actually clean it up!

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