Monday, May 1, 2017

Psalms 111:4 -- On Blame and Blessings

"He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion."
Psalms 111:4

It's so easy for us to start thinking of God as an oppressor or a punisher.  I think it is because we want so much to deflect the responsibility for our mistakes and bad choices, or just our circumstances, onto something external.  We do it with a lot of things, not just God.  We blame our families, or society, or the country, or the people who must be evil because they don't agree with us, or people in authority, or people who aren't as cool as we are, or whatever... race, religion, politics, gender, attractiveness, our bosses, etc.  If it weren't for this or that or the other thing, life would be GREAT. :)  And, of course, because we can't control those other things, it totally isn't our fault, but people who *can* control them... must be their fault that life is crappy.  And God is at the top of that blamestorm... no one beyond that, really.

Since it is so easy to fall into that mindset and wonder why God isn't solving all of our problems in addition to having someone drop a winning lottery ticket for us to pick up, I think that is one of the reasons that God gave us the scriptures and that group memory of his wonderful works.  He reminds us that life isn't perfect... that people do suffer.  He reminds us that no one is perfect except Christ, and even he, the greatest of all, didn't always *want* to drink his bitter cup.  We realize that families have failings, that some people are not really the type of people you should hang out with.

God also reminds us of the awesome things.  Healing, and strengthening, and saving.  He tells us that we aren't perfect, but also that it is okay not to be perfect all at once--that is exactly why he suffered for us, so that we can still make it, if we repent, and that he will help us all the way.  He pulls us back from the brink of other-blame, reminds us that we've made our own mistakes, and that they have consequences, but that he can help us bear the burden and show us the way to happiness.

Today, let's work on not blaming God (or anyone else) for our lives, and remember that God can help us be happy even in the midst of trials and challenges.  Realizing that we aren't perfect is the first step to learning how to be better, and God can and will assist us in making our weaknesses strengths, as we go to him in prayer.  Let's remember that the Lord is full of grace and compassion, and that it is okay to be imperfect.  We just have to keep working on it, and the Lord will bless us.

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