Spiritual Perspectives In Unnerving Times
Who’s fault is it?
It’s another day unlike any days we have ever lived through in this generation.
We are all speaking in new word couplings that we have rarely heard before now: COVID-19; social-distancing; self-isolate; #safehands; etc.
Your entire life has been interrupted, inconvenienced and disenfranchised; and most likely you’re among the majority who have not even contracted the Coronavirus (thank God).
You’re doing your best to obey the rapid staccato updates from the Health sources; where to stand in proximity to others, how to engage with them, how and where to sneeze (Answer: into your elbow-pit), how not to touch your face…and it’s unnerving. Truly we are walking into the unknown and we haven’t begun to talk about what’s happening inside your heart and soul.
It won’t be long before many on the world stage will start to ask, “Who’s fault is it?” It is political standard-operating procedure and in fact, it’s already begun. Don’t be surprised if you catch your own head and your heart asking the same thing.
It seems like we can’t help ourselves. Some will blame the stars, some the calendar (remember it was Friday the 13th last week), some will blame one country or one race of people, some will blame themselves. Cassius states in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, “The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.”
Blame takes up residency quickly. You can be enjoying a peaceful, faith-filled day and then, without warning, and in an instant blame moves in and sets up shop!
It started in Genesis 3:12-13 and it became humankind’s go-to reaction in every chapter following. Blame is not our second nature, it’s our first nature.
Especially when we walk into the unknown we try to make sense of it by blaming. It makes us feel better for a few seconds…but it never helps.
Luke 13:1-9 - Read it here
Jesus confronts blame-culture thinking with these piercing words: “Do you think they…were worse…because they suffered? I tell you no!”
people who suffered at Pilates hands? Not guilty, not their fault.
people who had a tower fall on them? Not guilty, not their fault.
It is a fundamental change of attitude to stop looking for who’s fault it is and stop blaming others: whether your parents (DNA), your friends, your leaders, even yourself. It won’t change the circumstance, it won’t resolve the issue and it won’t make you happier.
Then Jesus tells a parable of a fruitless fig tree, the entire purpose of the story was to display the tension of judgement, only to end up in a grand declaration of grace. To battle fast moving blame, consider that word one more time…GRACE.
God’s grace is greater than God’s judgement. How could it be otherwise? Divine patience is His expression of love and grace. Of course, His patience is never to be treated with casual indulgence or indifference, yet equally not to be warped into an unhealthy spiritual superstition of blame each occasion the life is challenging or unexplainable.
Or as the apostle Paul put it, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?
5 But because you are stubborn and refuse to turn from your sin, you are storing up terrible punishment for yourself. For a day of anger is coming, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.” Romans 2:3-4 NLT
It seems the best advice for our blame-addicted hearts is to “self monitor” and “socially distance” ourself from the incessant need to blame something and someone because life is not what you thought it would be. This, combined with the grace of God are the only things that will work.
The larger biblical witness points you and I to live a life of consistent, daily repentance and renewal. God is firmly stating, don’t worry about who’s fault it is, that is not your responsibility, that is not what you need to be thinking about, just come with me and follow me into the unknown.
Kevin Robbins MDiv - March 2020