I walked into the living room and dropped down onto the couch after a long day. From across the room a popular psychologist was busily chattering away through my tv set. My wife seemed to be engaged in listening to the program as she worked on a project. This was not how I was hoping the evening would unfold.
Just as I was planning my creative exit, something pleasantly surprised me. Essentially, this counselor acknowledged that injustices, neglect and other problems can leave their scars upon people, but people still are responsible for what they do! The psychologist then informed a guest on his show that although his guest had not enjoyed the advantage of a positive male role model, this did not relieve him from the responsibility of fulfilling his role as a husband. He then began to hammer away at what it meant to be a husband. This is not what I was expecting to hear from a popular psychologist. I do not know about his other shows, but he got this one right.
Consequences do exist. If we were raised in a dysfunctional family setting or within a homelife crippled by the spiritually impoverished air of secularism, chances are that as adults we will find ourselves grappling with trying to manage the damage in order to live as God intends. When strong godly role models are replaced by dysfunctional or inept ones, this can leave scars.*
In a world filled with abuse, neglect, self-centeredness, self-destructive patterns and every other form of sin, it is easy to blame others for our own inadequacies. The blame game began in the Garden of Eden and it seems to remain a favorite.
It is so easy to try to shirk the responsibility for our actions by blaming someone else. But have you noticed that Jesus never inquired into someone’s past experiences as a guide for prescribing what standard should be fulfilled in their life? Jesus may have addressed how certain individuals should deal with specific issues of sin, but consistently Jesus called people to be accountable in living up to the very same standard.
While some might find it harder to do what is right, we are all responsible for whether we fulfill our various roles. If such thoughts make us angry, should not our anger be focused at the terribleness of sin and not at God? Knowing what is good for us, God’s anger burns against sin.
In Jesus’ parables, just because someone was a servant of the Master did not guarantee that he would hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
How do we get past the blame game? It is a matter of realizing that regardless of what might have happened in the past which can make today more difficult, ultimately I am responsible for what I choose to actually do.
*Because there are consequences for how children are raised, the importance of providing a strong godly nurturing environment for a child is irreplaceable. Every mother with young children who chooses to stay home for the purpose of raising those children should be highly praised. You may not bring in an income, but your work will have repercussions for decades to come.
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