by Brandy Webb
It seems when there are problems that come up, be it at work, at home, in the church, with the economy, etc., there is a lot of finger-pointing and blaming others for the issues that have occurred. We see it a lot in politics. We see it a lot on the news. Hardly ever do you see someone say, “Hey, it is my fault.”
The thing is, who is really accountable? Well, guess what, everyone is accountable for their own actions; and, honestly, when it comes down to it, we will only be able to answer for ourselves. We won’t be able to blame the government in the end-time. We won’t be able to blame ABC CoG for why we didn’t live correctly. We won’t be able to blame our spouses, parents, children, etc. If we don’t live righteously, we only have ourselves to blame.
It is our fault when we give in to temptations. We can’t blame anyone, and we especially can’t blame God, for God doesn’t tempt us (James 1:13). Only our selfish desires tempt us (James 1:14). When we give in to our selfish desires, we give power to the temptation (James 1:15).
Not all selfish temptation is obvious, either. Ambition can turn into selfish temptation. Even worry can be a temptation. Remember, God doesn’t allow us to be tempted more than we can handle; He always provides us an escape (1 Cor 10:13). So it is our job, when temptations arise, to look for the escape route that God gives us. He knows we need His help, but He isn’t going to push us through the exit. He will provide it, but it is our job to walk through the exit door.
Maybe I’m being a little harsh. It is just that I’m tired of the finger-pointing, and I am also tired of the justifications. In fact, I’m tired of my own carnal self. Yeah, I’m speaking from experience here.
When we give in to the temptation of blaming and justification, we overlook the log that is in our own eye (Matt 7:3-5). We forget that we all have our own walk to walk. We are individuals who learn at different rates, go through different trials, and have our own intimate relationships with our Father and Savior. We shouldn’t worry about the guy next door. We need to start paying attention to the one looking at us in the mirror.
It is easy to blame others for our problems, and sometimes, maybe someone else causes the problem. When that happens, we must learn to heal and forgive. Bitterness only destroys the one who is bitter, and after some time, it becomes a justification for not acting properly. Life is hard, but it doesn’t give us reason to act unrighteously. It doesn’t give us reason to not treat others better than ourselves. It doesn’t give us an excuse when we stand before the throne.
We are accountable for ourselves (Rom 14:12). We must strive to show our faith through our works (James 2:17, 24). We must be lights in this evil world (Matt 5:14). We don’t want our actions to ever cause others to stumble (Rom 14:13b). We need to learn how to live a life of peace even if the receiver doesn’t “deserve” it.
Therefore, let us strive to allow God to help us overcome our carnal flesh and allow Him to mold us, creating a beautiful work within us. And as we grow, let’s remember we are not to “grumble against one another, brethren, that you not be condemned. Behold the Judge stands at the door. My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering affliction and endurance. Indeed we count them blessed who endure” (James 5:9-11a).”