Give up your blame list! If you want to move forward in your life, one of the main things to do is give up your blame list and take responsibility for your life. The typical list of people we like to blame for our problems may include: parents, spouse, sibling, boss, teacher, friend, etc. Giving up the list means taking the verse found in Proverbs 4:23 seriously! “Above all else, guard your heart because everything you do flows from it!” At some point, stuff happens; it happens to everyone. Beth Moore says that in life you will either jump, fall or get pushed into a pit. Perry Noble describes it as a “flat tire” in life. You will either hit a nail, let the air out, or someone will slit the tire of your life. Both are great analogies of the effects of sin in the world on our lives. Flat tires and pits are either a result of our sin, someone else’s sin, or just the existence of sin in the world that we happen to live in. We have to protect our hearts.
Thankfully, God gives us a way to protect our hearts! First, we can choose to have a personal relationship with our Creator, which enables us to have the Holy Spirit in our lives helping us deal with the things that come with living in the world. It is not what happens in the world that determines the major part of our future. What happens, happens to us all. The important thing to realize is what you do about it! How do you handle the flat tires, pits, or whatever you want to call it? And, what is the source of your direction, comfort and wisdom? Through Christ we have the ability to forgive and find direction rather than spending our time pointing fingers.
I have often heard it said, “You attract what you are.” I find that to be very true. If you want to become more, you have to be more. You cannot do that with your eyes on other people and what they are doing. You have to put your eyes on God and what He has designed for your life. We can all get caught up in making excuses for our lives and blaming others. Granted, sometimes others are the blame for the bad that happens to us, but those circumstances don’t have to define us. Some things that happen to us are unthinkable, but God is an ALL POWERFUL God, the Great Physician for the healing of the worst inflicted pain. It is tempting and seemingly odd, but we can find comfort in our pain and want to remain in the worst of circumstances rather than resting in, trusting in, believing in God and standing UP and stepping OUT. Put the bad that has happened in your life into God’s hands. He is big enough to handle it and to bring beauty from ashes. I love the verse found in Isaiah 61:3, “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. The oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
God’s desire is to display His splendor in your life! Don’t necessarily wish your life were easier; pray God makes you better and stronger. Don’t wish for fewer problems but pray for more skill and discernment to deal with them (this I find makes us more mature and complete and we grow by leaps and bounds). The way we look at our lives has a lot to do with the outcome of our lives. We can continually look at the blame list and find odd comfort in the familiar or we can strike a match and burn it up and take new ground. We can choose to look into the mirror. Start taking a personal interest and responsibility in our created purpose, taking one small step at a time to make little changes that add up to a different tomorrow that add up to a different life.
In Philippians 4:13 it states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” That is so true. That is where it starts, with Christ….He will give you strength…..strength to burn the list; strength to take the first step to be a better you; strength to see His splendor displayed in your life…..It just takes a desire to take your eyes off of everyone, and put them on God and yourself. Allowing Him to do the work. He has splendid plans. Give Him the freedom to work! It will feel different and look different, different is often times a whole lot better, we are creatures of familiar and comfort, that is usually not where God puts fertilizer in our lives that allow us to grow as strong oaks!