Friday, August 29, 2008

Who? Me?

I had a friend ask me a question last night...why do people always blame others? It is really causing problems in my family! Good question....

I started thinking about that this morning...why do I blame shift? It is a perpetual temptation for me, I admit. I HATE blowing it; let alone admitting I have done it. Last week, I had over 40 people in my house three days in a row. Fun, but crazy! My mind was constantly in a whirlwind. In the middle of day 2, I headed out the door and decided to take my husband's new car. I approached a stop sign, with my head definately several miles down the road. The Altima in front of me stopped and then began a right turn. I, not driving defensively, assumed she did indeed turn. So I looked left - clear - and then began to turn right. Low and behold - she didn't turn. So - again let me state - in my husband's new car that he has waited for over two years to buy - I HIT HER! Oh my gosh! Immediately, my mind said "It's not my fault. She pulled out - she should have turned". Fortunately, it was a small bump and no damage was done. But OF COURSE when it came time to retell the story to my husband, it was her fault.

So, why do I do it? Why do I blame others instead of just saying, "Greg, I blew it. I was busy thinking of all of the stuff I had to do today and instead of rechecking, I pulled out and hit her". I can guarantee you that is not how I told the story to my husband.

Reason #1) Fear

If the accident wasn't my fault, you can't get mad at me right? I have asked my children before, "Why don't you just tell me the truth when you mess up? I won't get so mad at you if you just tell me the truth?" Because you get mad at us is their answer....sounds very familiar. I guess you would call that learned behavior. The Bible calls it fear of man. Peter gives us a pretty big hint on how to handle this situation in our life in Acts 5:29 "We ought to obey God rather than men." When we fear the reaction of people more than we fear the reaction of God - we end up sinning. Rather to be honest with people and call it like it is than to deceive and disobey God.

Reason #2) Pride every other person on the planet, I hate to mess up and admit it because I hate to mess up and admit it! If I want to figure out what God thinks of this issue in my life, all I have to do is read Proverbs. Every other verse deals with this really gross sin. Jesus himself tells us how to defeat this one, "Whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:4.

Reason #3) Laziness

I know you are probably thinking...what? That doesn't have anything to do with blame shifting. Well, it does for me. See, if I admit that I forgot to put chlorine in the pool and it turned green, than that means I am responsible to get it back to blue again....but, if the temperatures just got too high and there seemed to be an inbalance in the pool chemicals, then Greg will probably fix it. See? Yep...this is another struggle for me and one I would just soon not admit. I sometimes pile so much on my plate and then there is that very real problem with procrastination that I have to deal so sometimes blame shifting seems to be a very easy solution (again - laziness even comes out when I blame shift. UGH!!!)

So once again, I head back to the cross. It sure is a good thing He is so full of grace. I know that looking at this again today has reminded me to humble myself, tell it like it is and deal with it. Life will be more peaceful and my Love will look down on me and smile at my reflection of Him.

Monday, August 4, 2008

To Wait or Not To Wait....The Banana Blunder

Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (NIV)

Willing to do anything to give my daily ritual of a chocolate breakfast drink a shake up, I grabbed one of the new bananas next to the blender this morning. Ok, so they were a little green at the top, but the rest of the banana was golden and ripe. Immediately after breaking off the top, I knew I was heading in the wrong direction. You know that resistance you get when you start to pull back the banana peel and part of it clings to the fruit? Well, I ignored that warning, threw the hard banana into the blender and hit the liquefy button. I anticipated a great new taste as I watched the yummy chocolate and banana swirl.

Wow...were my taste buds in for a BIG disappointment. Yuck! It tasted chalky, a little bitter and pasty. Even after that initial swallow, I continued to gulp down my breakfast. I couldn’t quit now - I had already mixed it together. Of course, an hour later I totally regretted my decision. My stomach wanted to remove that banana! How I wished I had waited one more day to eat the banana. One more day would have made all the difference between gross and great!

Do you ever feel like your life has been a series of short stories on waiting? Waiting to get to high school. Waiting to get out of high school. Waiting for your driver’s license. Waiting for a car. Waiting to start dating. Waiting for a date. I don't know about you, but sometimes while in the middle of waiting, it seems like some of my deepest dreams and desires will never come to pass or I feel that God has forgotten about them.

Now, I am starting to see life in a new light. I see that sometimes I have actually made choices to wait; waiting for the Lord to do His thing in His time. This waiting has been good and has led to many blessings, like waiting to give away my virginity until I got married. Don't get me wrong; there have definitely been those times when I didn't wait. For example, I didn’t wait to buy a car that really was reliable; instead I just bought what I could afford. Hopefully, as I grow though, I will see the true benefits of waiting for the Lord and those times of getting ahead of God will be less frequent.

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Please help me to be patient when you call me to wait. Sometimes, it is so hard, Lord. Help me to trust You, knowing that every time You will do exactly what is best for me and what will glorify You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Related Resources:

A Young Woman’s Walk with God, by Elizabeth George

Think About It:

Do I struggle to wait?

Do I often feel like the Lord is late or wonder where He is when things don’t seem to be going right?

What can I do to encourage myself and wait on the Lord instead of getting ahead of Him?

Live It:

Grab your journal and write out the things you struggle with the most when it comes to waiting on the Lord.

Share your struggle with your parent or a good friend and ask them to pray for you.

Commit to the Lord that the next time the issue of waiting comes up, you will ask Him for strength to wait.

Power Verses:

Romans 8:25, "But if we hope for what we do not see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (NKJV)

Psalm 25: 4-5, "Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." (NIV)

Ecclesiastes 3:1, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven..." (NKJV)

© 2008 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

Labels: deeper faith, radical faith, radical purity