“And thus they returned us answer, saying, We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and build the house (temple) that was builded these many years ago, which a great king of Israel builded and set up. After that (because) our fathers had provoked the God of heaven unto wrath, he gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house (temple), and carried the people away into Babylon.”Ezra 5:11-12
I have gotten myself into some pickles in my life, and I have gotten out of some, and in others I have suffered the consequences of my actions. It was a rare thing for me to actively raise my hand and say I was at fault or point the spotlight on me. I have told some tall tales, made excuses, and even pointed the finger at others to try and get out of my predicament. It seemed to be easier to throw others under the bus instead of taking responsibility for my own actions. It was always someone else’s fault, my circumstances, or anything else I could think of in the moment. It has been said that there is no one in this world who will give you more trouble than yourself. I can verify this to be true in my own life as I have been my worst enemy.
Since the beginning of time, the blame game has been played. Eve blamed the serpent and Adam blamed the woman God gave Him. It is easier to point the finger at others instead of pointing the finger at yourself and taking responsibility. My dad would always tell me that you can blame others for your actions, but you alone will suffer the consequences for the choices you make in life. He warned me of people who had blamed others their whole life, but yet endured the difficult consequences of their actions without any introspection. All of us at times lack self awareness as it is sometimes hard to be honest with ourselves. I would like to think I am honest with myself, but this simply is not always the case.
I was a sophomore in high school taking English class in a new school, and I was struggling immensely. I was not doing well in this class and my teacher was blown away by my lack of knowledge with the different types of speech. I struggled understanding these concepts and did not even capitalize the word “I” whenever I used it in a sentence. I had a solid F in his class, and I was in jeopardy of losing my academic eligibility for sports. I had a great disdain for my teacher, and I was not shy in showing those feelings as I proudly displayed them every chance I got. He attempted to tutor me for an after-school session or two, but I was in need of more than a simple session. You cannot make up a lifelong of missed learning opportunities in a couple of after-school sessions.
I ended up failing my English class that semester, and the hate I had toward my teacher grew every day I had to sit in his class. I did not look at my role in the failure, but simply blamed him for not being a good teacher and not teaching me. True to what my father said, I suffered the consequences for my actions and was disqualified from playing in the soccer tournament and ultimately missed out on playing the championship game. I chose to blame my teacher instead of myself, even though my predicament was all my fault. I was not like these servants of God in Ezra’s time who were honest about their father’s sins which allowed them to be carried into captivity. They recognized their rebellion against God, and the consequences that followed their actions. They were honest before men, and more importantly honest before God.
Will you make excuses for your sin, or will you be honest with yourself and with God? Will you learn from the consequences of your sin, or will you continue to blame others for your actions? God will hold each one of us accountable for our actions, and there will be no finger-pointing on judgement day. We have no one to blame for the sin in our lives but us, and we must humbly examine ourselves and confess the sin in our lives. Humility requires admitting your sin and raising your hand in agreement with God about it. Will you own your sin? May God help us to keep our accounts current and accurate with Him, and may we not try and point the finger at others.