Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"The Blame Game..."

The Life Journal readings for today are Zephaniah 1, Zephaniah 2, Zephaniah 3, and John 9

Scripture: John 9:1 (New International Version)
"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, 'Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?'"

The disciples weren't actually playing the blame game like we would.  It was a common belief at that time that if someone were born with a condition such as blindness, it was the result of some sin they or their parents had committed. 

We, on the other hand, play a different blame game.  If your life is a mess, it must be because you are just a bad person.  If something has gone wrong in my life, it must be because of something you have done.  This then leads to resentment of self or other, and the temptation to make ourselves greater by beating down the other. 

In the case of the man in this story, his blindness was probably the result of some genetic misfire or some environmental factor, and not the sin of anyone.  We are far too quick to begin placing blame either on others or the situation we may find ourselves in.  Sometimes, things just happen.  There may be no visible rhyme or reason for it.  Unfortunately, the very place where folks should find grace, and if need be, correction tempered with love, has in many places become the greatest source of condemnation. 

If the Church really wants to be the Church, we have two basic rules to follow.  Christ even said that the law and prophets hang on these two: love God with all that we are, and love others as we love ourselves.  I may be tempted to place blame and pass judgment, but ultimately, that role is Christ's and Christ's alone.

God of grace, teach me to live in such a way that I have no need to raise myself up by pushing others down.  Remind me that though my mistakes and my sins may be different from some, they are still just that, my mistakes and sins.  Remind me also, that I am not defined by those as a child of yours.  Then, God my Redeemer, allow me to lay those down and pick up a cup of your grace.  Amen.

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