If It’s Meant to Be . . .
Children do not need to learn finger pointing. We are born with an innate capacity to point blame to others.
In fact, among the first words from Adam and Eve were finger pointing! (Click here to read the lesson from Genesis.) In the early part of Genesis 3 (before Sunday’s reading begins) we read of the serpent justifying the eating of the fruit they were commanded not to eat. Then, when God asked Adam if he ate the fruit, his immediate response was “She gave it to me!” Then, when God asked Eve, she turned and blamed it on the serpent.
This tendency to point fingers has led us into many difficulties both individually and corporately as a society. There is always a tendency to blame others for our problems. It’s congress’ fault! It’s my parent’s fault! She did it first! He was worse!
Typically, the first sin of Adam and Eve is seen as the desire to “be like God.” Certainly, the desire to be “god” of our own lives — and sometimes the lives of those around us — is a serious problem with grave consequences. But sometimes I wonder if the more insidious sin is passing blame and refusing personal responsibility. That’s where the fall of Adam and Eve began. Almost every sin is, in some way, conceived or enabled by not accepting personal responsibility.
This idea creeps up in other ways as well. There’s a popular country song now that goes “If it’s meant to be, it’ll be, it’ll be. Baby, just let it be.” Of course the song is quoting a popular saying, but it is not a Christian view. Some see this as a way to “give it to God” but the Christian understanding of “giving it to God” never means I just sit under the tree and wait for God to do it. We take responsibility. We are the Body of Christ. It is not enough to pray for the needy, then sit and wait as if “if its meant to be, it’ll be.” We pray, then we work.
This is one of those “behind the scenes” principles that can be very helpful as we approach the challenges of Christian living. Instead of finger pointing, where might you step up and take responsibility for the work of God in this world?
This column appeared in the June 10, 2018 issue of St. John’s weekly eNews. Click here to read the full issue.
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