Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Taking The Blame

This morning I read 1 Corinthians chapter 4. And I have to admit, it was kind of a stern talking to this morning. Here are the first seven verses.

So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God’s mysteries. 2 Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. 3 As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated by you or by any human authority. I don’t even trust my own judgment on this point. 4 My conscience is clear, but that doesn’t prove I’m right. It is the Lord himself who will examine me and decide.

5 So don’t make judgments about anyone ahead of time—before the Lord returns. For he will bring our darkest secrets to light and will reveal our private motives. Then God will give to each one whatever praise is due.

6 Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another. 7 For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?

How often do things go wrong and we speculate about what we could have done better to make it work? A new program at church kind of fizzles out, and I am the type of person that I think it's my fault it didn't work, because I could have done something better, or suggested something to make it better. Or a friend of ours sent their son to school after seriously considering homeschooling. I did everything I could to encourage them in their decision to send this child to school, and he did awful, they had to pull him out and go with the homeschooling. And somehow, I felt it was my fault for all the encouraging I did. I need to stop thinking like that. Playing the blame game with myself can be really diminishing to my spirit. I feel discouraged, like what I did wasn't enough, or that what I want to do wouldn't be appreciated, so I just stop doing.

I also worry about what other people think. And right here in 1 Corinthians, Paul tells me to stop doing that. Look at verses 3 and 4. I should take a lesson from Paul and remember that it should matter little what other people think of me. Thoughts of judgment from other people are not important, and they don't count in the grand scheme of things. God alone will judge me, and as long as I have done my best when I need to, I can rest easy and have a clean conscience.

I also like verse 5 this morning. "Don't make judgements about anyone ahead of time." That is quite to the point isn't it. Just as I don't want to be thought poorly of, I shouldn't think that way about other people. It is not my place to judge someone else's efforts or personal life. It is my place to take care of my own. Don't make judgments. Think about that statement. That's actually saying a lot. Think about how many times we judge someone in our mind. Sometimes just seeing someone across the room can bring up a plethora of thoughts that shouldn't be there. I pray this morning that God will temper that in me. I think I do that a lot. I see how someone is dressed or how their children are dressed, and I automatically make judgements based on their clothing. How silly is that. Just as we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, so shouldn't we judge a person by their outside. It's what's inside that counts.

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