DayBreaks for 04/06/11 – Some Things Never Change

DayBreaks for 04/06/11 – Some Things Never Change

From the DayBreaks archive, dated 4/26/2001:

 

Who are you blaming?

Genesis 3:8-12 – “8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”  10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”  11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”  12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.

 

Have you noticed how we live in a day and age when no one is responsible for anything anymore?  Consider what has happened in America in the last 20 years:

If a woman burns her legs on the hot coffee she was holding in her lap while driving, she blames the restaurant.

If your teenage son kills himself, we blame the rock and roll musician he liked.

If you smoke three packs a day for 40 years and die of lung cancer your family blames the tobacco company.

If your daughter gets pregnant by the football captain you blame the school for poor sex education.

If your neighbor crashes into a tree while driving home drunk, he blames the bartender.

If your cousin gets AIDS because the needle he used to shoot heroin was dirty, you blame the government for not providing clean ones.

If your grandchildren are brats without manners, you blame television.

And, if your friend is shot by a deranged madman, you blame the gun manufacturer.

And, if a crazed person breaks into the cockpit and tries to kill the pilots at 35,000 feet, and the passengers kill him instead, the mother of the deceased blames the airline.

It started that way in the garden of Eden and it hasn’t changed since.  Adam wasn’t man enough to own up to his own failure – he blamed it on someone else.   Note how his answer brazenly accused both God and Eve for his problem – “The woman YOU put here with me – SHE gave me some of the fruit…”  It is always someone else’s fault, and to avoid living up to our own responsibilities, we’ll even blame God for putting us in the situation.  We live as if there are no consequences to our own choices.  And in our American legal system, perhaps we can actually avoid having to take those consequences and get away “scott free”.

In God’s plan, however, we won’t have that luxury.  God didn’t accept Adam’s excuse in the garden, nor the woman’s excuse.  They both had to pay the price and bear the consequences.  We will be no different:  2 Cor. 5:10 – “10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”  On that day, we will be face to face with the ultimate reality that we were responsible for our choices – good or bad – and that God won’t buy our lame excuses as to who was really to blame for our problems or our sin.

PRAYER: Teach us to own up to our failures and not try to blame our lack of obedience on anyone or anything else besides the sin that is in our hearts.  Give us strength through Your Spirit to resist temptation!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

COPYRIGHT 2011, Galen C. Dalrymple  ><}}}”>

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Sometimes It Is Enough

Karen Spears Zacharias is a gifted writer and bloggess who challenges my thinking frequently.  In one recent blog, she talked about how we can often get frustrated with what we are able to accomplish, or with what we could not achieve.  I thought her reflections were worth sharing with you.  The background to this blog post described her encounter with a young woman who was walking with groceries through a torrential downpour – getting soaked to the bone.  Karen’s first reaction was not to help…but she felt convicted that she was to help this young woman get home.  After hearing the woman’s story, Zacharias felt frustrated that she couldn’t do more to help this woman with her many struggles and challenges.  She expressed her frustration at not being able to do more – and the young woman replied that what she’d done was enough.  Here’s what she had to say about her thoughts after that conversation:

“Of course, I meant more — how could I be of more help?

“Those of us who follow the promptings are often too hard on ourselves.  I know my friend Hugh gets frustrated that he can’t do more for his homeless friends.  My husband is one of the best people I know and he’s hard on himself. After nearly 30 years of teaching and coaching, he frets that he hasn’t done anything really important in life.

“Veterans who survive the war are hard on themselves. They live their lives in service to others, trying to find a way to apologize for making it through the war that killed their buddies.

 

The Burden

“Pastors are hard on themselves. It’s not enough to pray and prepare, now they have to have a brand, be market savvy, have an online presence, if they expect to grow a community. And once they get that community grown? Then what? How can they possibly manage to shepherd so many?

 

“Moms and dads are hard on themselves. It’s not enough to nurture a child. Now you have to push them to excel in everything because, well, left to be children, they will undoubtedly turn out to be slothful and homeless.

“Life’s hard.  It rains on the person walking and the person with a car.  We should look each other in the eye more often and acknowledge that sometimes the good we do is enough.  For now.”

We cannot solve all the world’s problems.  We shouldn’t feel that we have to in order to be pleasing to God.  He knows we can’t solve them all – and He doesn’t ask us to.  Many of the world’s problems require a God-sized solution that only He can, and will, one day provide.  While we shouldn’t be so kicked-back that we don’t try to solve the problems we can, we should realize our limitations as humans, pray for God’s direct intervention to fix what we cannot, and realize that even a cup of cold water is a blessing – and it helps.

Here’s the direct link to Zacharias’ account of her encounter with the young girl: http://www.patheos.com/community/karenspearszacharias/2011/01/18/when-the-good-we-do-is-enough/

PRAYER: Help us be aware of our limitations, but also to know that “With God all things are possible” and that we can do “all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens us.”  Give us willing hearts, eager to help those in need.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>