Thursday, March 22, 2012

There're No "Buts" About It!

Do any of these sound familiar?
  • “Forgive me, Father, for losing my temper but  he provoked me...”
  • “I know I shouldn’t have done it, but the temptation was just too great.”
  • “Lord, I know I need to be patient, but...”
  • “Forgive me, Father, for feeling envious but it’s been the desire of my heart...”
  • But why?”

The word “but” is so annoying. How many parents count to ten when they hear a child say, “But everyone does it!” Or how about, “But it wasn’t my fault, honest!”

It is foolish to think we can justify our behavior to the Lord. He’s not interested in our excuses. And He certainly does not want us to blame someone else for our own misdoings. Instead, He wants us to be accountable for our thoughts and behaviors. He wants us to acknowledge our sin and to stop playing the “blame game.”

Typically when someone gets caught doing wrong the battle cry is, “But, I can explain!” Don't you wish for that person to just admit their fault instead of trying to justify his or her behavior? How many times do we know in our hearts that we did something wrong but instead of apologizing or attempting to make it right we seek to explain it away or worse yet, smugly ignore the incident?

Our Heavenly Father wants us to humbly confess our sins and to stop looking to others to blame. From the beginning of time, instead of admitting guilt, man has tried unsuccessfully to hide from God. Adam blamed Eve for HIS mistake, thus setting the precedent for playing the “blame game.”

Like Adam, we cannot hide. Our Heavenly Father knows ALL. There is no getting around it. And He’s not looking for explanations. He is, however ready to forgive us!

Here are some suggestions to help you avoid the "blame game":
  1. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you things you need to confess.Spend time in quiet meditation and listen to the prompting by your conscious.
  2. Read Romans 7:14-25. Even Paul recognized that there were times he knew he was sinning yet he was powerless to stop himself. The scriptures give us the blueprint for leading godly lives. Read them often.
  3. Find an accountability/prayer partner. This should be someone that you can trust to keep things confidential and who will be willing to listen and speak into your life honestly and without judgement.    
  4. “Birds of a feather flock together.” Surround yourself with people who can be a good influence. 
  5.   Don’t allow yourself to think that because others are participating in sinful behavior that it is okay for you to do it, too. Most parents do not fall for “But all the other kids are doing it.” God doesn’t fall for that excuse, either.  
So, stop making excuses. Accept that we all fall short. Turn away from the things you know are not pleasing to God. Ask God and the people you've wronged for forgiveness.

And most importantly, thank Jesus for paying the price for your sins. He willingly took the blame for our misdoings and died on a cross. For YOU. For ME. For ALL of us.

If that knowledge doesn’t take the “but” out of your prayer I’m not sure what will.

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