This Sunday we will be focusing on James 3:13-4:17. Biblical wisdom is seen in the God-centered life. It’s not just good advice. It’s others-centered. We know this to be true, yet life seems to offer us many opportunities for resentment, disillusionment, or anger designed to turn us quickly self-centered as we compare ourselves to others:
- We didn’t get what we thought we deserved—that promotion, job, relationship, or vacation to the Bahamas!
- We don’t like the way we look.
- We feel cheated, duped, discarded.
- We broke up with our loved one.
- We didn’t get healed.
Built into us is a button, a self-destruct button that we automatically press whenever things don’t go our way. It all comes down to blame. We are blamers—they, them, and, ultimately, we blame God for all our grief and problems. It all boils down to his fault. The most difficult thing in life for us is to let go of our wills and let God rule.
There is a script to our life whether we realize it or not. It was written before we were even born. The very day of our birth and the last hour of our life were created in the mind of God before the foundation of the world. The Psalmist said, “My times are in your hands” (Psalm 31:15). In other words, our dates from beginning to end are within the governing power of our God.
This means avoiding the blame game.
“Whose fault is this? Why did God (or someone else) allow this to happen to me?” This is one of the most worthless, energy-draining, self-deluding exercises we can engage in. Don’t do it.
Resentment toward our neighbor or our God will not help us. The one and only one result of this sort of bitterness is destructive—mostly to the one who gives in to it. It really doesn’t matter who or what got us into the jam we’re in. It may be someone else’s fault, or it may be our own, or it simply may be due to the weather.
Whoever is directly responsible for our plight, we can say at the very minimum that it was God who oversaw it. What happens to us can never be the product of “just accident” or pure “chance.” If we believe in the God of the Bible, such things are not even a possibility. God is the God of order and purpose and whatever occurs in this life must first pass his inspection. It may be good or evil, but it doesn’t happen while he’s looking the other way. Whatever you do, don’t fall for any of the popular views of God that make him anything less than totally sovereign and in complete control of the entire course of history.
In truth, God blesses us by means of his will—he chooses to bless us with his ultimate good. He wills our highest good in the form of his perfect will for us. The best that we can envision for ourselves is paltry and pathetic in comparison to what our Father in heaven can envision for us. The most exciting, most fulfilling, most spectacular career or success we can secure for ourselves is nothing compared to what God can bring to us in the center of his will. That’s why we’re taught by Jesus to pray for the perfect will of God.
When we understand this, there is no longer any place for resentment or blame. Everything we are and have comes by God’s design, and it’s all part of a greater plan that involves not only our lives, but also the lives of others in ways we might not even be able to imagine.
God blesses us through his will because his will is the very best thing available to us anywhere at any time. Our plans must be in line with God’s purposes.
Thanks be to God for his love and grace.
In Christ’s love,
Photo by John Ragai via Flickr