Thursday, March 22, 2012

If you just can’t quit blaming yourself…

We all do it at one time or another.

The child blames himself when parents divorce. “If I hadn’t messed up and been a better kid, maybe Mom and Dad wouldn’t have…”

Moms and Dads blame themselves when a child chooses poorly. “Oh, if we’d only prayed a little harder, talked about faith in Jesus more…”

All kinds of different circumstances gone awry can cause us to lay the blame at our own feet again and again and again, until this fruitless self-blame is almost an addiction.

I know. I’ve done it.

I came across an excellent article recently by an author who writes anonymously in order to protect a family member. She says “…if we are to extend grace, as Christ did, we must also experience death. As parents, we need to die to our dreams, our desires, and our expectations for our children. We need to love them unconditionally, expecting nothing in return. “

We need to die to extend grace.

Die to believing it should be different. Die to wondering where we went wrong. Die to thinking we’re owed something for all we’ve invested.

“In death he (Jesus) glorified Him: through death He was glorified with Him. It is by dying, being dead to self, and living to God, that we can glorify Him. And this--this death to self, this life to the glory of God—is what Jesus gives and lives in each one who can trust Him for it. Let nothing less than these—the desire, the decision to live only for the glory of the Father, even as Christ did; the acceptance of Him with His life and strength working it in us; the joyful assurance that we can live to the glory of God, because Christ lives in us; --let this be the spirit of our daily life.” With Christ in the School of Prayer, Lesson Twenty, Andrew Murray

When we can’t stop blaming ourselves, Christ in us can. He gives us the strength to stop making it all about us and refocus our lives for His glory.

“…Christ in you, the hope of glory"(Colossians 1:27).

 "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me"(Galatians 2:20).



Preacher Dan said...

What a beautiful devotion and reminder of our need to die to this things that keep us from God and sometimes even our loved ones. On an ironic note, the lectionary reading for this week is John 12:20-33, where Jesus talks about how a kernel of wheat must die in order to bear fruit... thanks again for the great reminder...

Beverly Varnado said...

Preacher Dan, we've been away from email a few days, so sorry to be so late in responding. I hadn't read the lectionary for this week, so loved it when you pointed out the connected theme. Just love God's coincidences!! Thanks much for reading. Love to all.

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