“People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.” – Proverbs 19:3.
The family TV show Family Matters aired for nearly 10 years in the 90’s. Actor Jaleel White played the role of Steve Erkel, a nerd with big glasses, high-water pants, and suspenders. His most popular catchphrase uttered usually after damaging something beyond repair was, “did I do that?” Yes, Steve. You did, and everyone knows it.
As we reflect back on our life, we often ask the same question: “did I do that?” We make mistakes, vow to do better, but sometimes we just can’t seem to get over the hump. The natural tendency is to find a culprit. So we turn to God saying: “Lord why is this happening to me? Why have you abandoned me? Why is my life such a mess? Where are you?” After all, it would not take much effort from the Creator who knows all, sees all and is the master of all, to solve our problems. But if we stop and reflect for a few moments, we would have to come to the conclusion that some, if not all of our lows were because of or caused by us. Yes, you did do that.
We want to fight against our enemies when sometimes the worst of those enemies is ourselves. We are our own enemies when it comes to spiritual growth. We create some of our problems and pride serves as a buffer against admitting that we are the real source of our problems. Many of us can’t escape this scenario because we are so cozy in our comfort zones. We don’t want anything to disturb our regular schedules. We don’t want anyone to dictate what we should do. We just wanna be our own masters, live like we please but and when things go sideways, we question why God does not intervene. That mentality suggests that we want a full-time committed God when we are not willing to make the same commitment. If we aren’t doing our part, why do we keep begging God to do His?
The Bible clearly teaches the concept of personal responsibility: “The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness.” (Ezekiel 18:20).
The first step is to realize God is the only one who can guide and direct us into our paths and purposes in life. And acknowledge that many of the mistakes we make we bring upon ourselves due to our bad choices. Check yourself again and stop blaming God. Pray and ask God to reveal to you whatever it is within you that is hindering you from growing. Then ask God to help you make the right choices going forward.
- Someone once said that ”no man was ever endowed with a right without being at the same time saddled with a responsibility.” Agree or disagree and why?
- What can we do this week to make better choices?