Thursday, July 13, 2017

How We Process Blame

I'm just sitting here thinking about how a child's perception of the world is so different from an adult. Children have something magical that adults need to see and adults have stability and perspective that children need. God was so wise to give us overlapping generations.

Adults have a responsibility to the children or their generation. If adults get cut off from that magic something is lost. One of the responsibilities that often parents take on is to teach courtesy and responsibility. That is so needed because if this is done right (and that may be very different for each unique family situation) then those children will have a  good transition into adult life.

"For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." - Romans 2:14-16 ESV

This seems like an odd passage to quote but I think God must teach us how to process blame. Children will often blame themselves for a tragedy and then secretly harbor that blame and carry it into adulthood. A trusted adult needs to reassure a child that tragic events are 'not their fault.'

We don't know how to forgive. God sent Jesus to teach us how. He died on a cross to give us an 'instrument' of forgiveness.

We need God to bring us out of 'accusing or even excusing' ourselves and others. We don't know how to forgive. We don't have the power or authority to leverage forgiveness off of our self. God forgives because of the cross. He makes a reckoning and says that because Jesus shed His blood we are forgiven. If we see the cross as God does we will leave the 'accusing' or 'excusing' economy far behind.

"When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love." - 1 Corinthians 13:11-13 ESV

As adults, we can still have the wonder. If we become spiritual adults we can have it all. We can have faith, hope and love. We can have a healthy way to process responsibility that has liberty. We can be free.


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