Monday, September 14, 2009

Don't Blame Me!

Over the years, particularly during my time as a Youth Pastor, I have heard a lot of stories about how someone did something wrong, and were able to blame it on someone else. This was especially true among siblings. I have no idea what that is like given the fact that I am an only child. ( I know, I know, that explains a lot doesn't it?) But I did have a few friends who had to suffer from my blame shifting. I feel bad about that now. I wonder how many of us, if given the opportunity, would go back and try to fix some of the times where we committed some misdeed and successfully shifted the blame to someone else. I know I would like to, and I would imagine that some of you would as well. Some people carry with them an immense amount of guilt about how some one else suffered the consequences for something they had no part in.
Which brings us to the point of this article. I was reading Genesis 3 and once again struck by the number of times that Adam and Eve tried to shift the blame to one another, or to the crafty serpent, or even on to God himself! But God would have nothing of it. He knew who was to blame. It was all of them, and God proceeded to punish each person accordingly. I must say that makes me feel a lot better about how I doled out punishment when my two boys would fight and each try to blame the other for starting it.
As I thought about the punishment that Adam and Eve received, banishment from the Garden, it occurred to me that it was much more than just a punishment. It was also an act of grace. Look at the 22nd verse of chapter 3. Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!”
At first read, I thought God was being a little uppity here. "We just can't have anyone becoming like us!" But as I thought about it, and read some commentary on it, I came to this conclusion about grace. Can you imagine what it would be like to be Adam and Eve, the originators of sin on earth, living forever and having to watch all the wars, murders, genocides and adulteries that are a direct result of their original sin? It would be absolutely horrible. So while some may say that God's punishment was harsh, if you look at it from this angle, it also was an incredible act of grace.
That same act of grace is available to you and me through Jesus Christ. Because of his work on the cross, we can be forgiven for those past mistakes, those past instances of blame shifting, and no longer carry the guilt of those misdeeds. Our God is truly an awesome God!
Are you carrying any guilt or remorse over an act of blame shifting in your past? If so, do yourself a favor. Go to God and get it off the board. He'll forgive you. Then if God leads you to, if it all possible, make it right with the person who took the blame for what you did. Write a letter, shoot them an email, call them, or better yet tell them in person. It will make a world of difference!

It's like Red Bull for the Soul!

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