“Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.” (Romans 14:12-13 NLT)
If you’ve ever been in an auto accident, among the first things that the police and your insurance company want to establish is who was at fault. Unfortunately, we too often carry that mentality into our relational “accidents.” A spouse is unfaithful, a teen gets pregnant out of wedlock, an account is short at work, someone takes their own life – the list is virtually endless of ways that unfortunate things happen in our lives.
Paul reminds us in the verses above that we will all one day stand before the Lord to give an account of OUR lives, no one else’s! There will be no: “they made me…” or “I didn’t know…” or “You can’t blame ME for that…” The Lord has perfect insight and understanding of everything we do, say, or think. There’s no putting anything past Him, and, gratefully, He is a perfect Father who judges accurately, redemptively, compassionately, and fairly.
It’s interesting to me to notice that the preceding verse to the ones above is a quote from Isaiah 49:18 that says: “’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bend to Me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.’”
When we die we’ll all see as we’ve been seen. We’ll all understand perfectly what we did wrong and why. No one will argue with God that He’s unfair or “if you’d only been there…” He WAS there and He not only saw everything that happened, He understands without error exactly why you did what you did.
My mom was an alcoholic when I was a child. I can’t count the number of times I heard her say to me and others: “Well, if you’re going to accuse me of drinking, I might as well do it.” She needed no accusation, but in some twisted way, maybe she felt more justified in her addiction to believe someone else was “causing” it.
We all have an addiction to sin that only Jesus can cure, but healing can only come when we’re willing to face the fact that the only one driving that addiction is us – ME! No one is making anyone be unfaithful to what they know is true. Can someone else contribute to our decisions? Satan will certainly do his best to use anyone he can to tempt us to sin, but in the end, it’s nobody’s fault but our own.
It’s not unusual for us to blame someone else for things we do: “You MADE me drink, drug, look at porn, be unfaithful, nag, drive too fast, ___________ “ and you can fill in the blank. But the bottom line is we choose to do what we do. And I can almost hear someone saying: “Yeh, but I saw this episode of Blue Bloods and this guy was going to kill the guy’s family if he didn’t _________.”
Okay, but ultimately, it’s still the person’s decision what they’re going to do, and, fortunately, 99.9% of the time no one’s holding a gun to our head. It’s all me and I’m the one who will stand before God to give an account of it.
One more thing. I’ve made some very bad decisions that contributed to the bad decisions of others. Did I make them do what they did? Not literally, but if I hadn’t done what I did, they likely wouldn’t have done what they did. Will they give an account to God for their behavior? Yes, they will. But my point is, please consider the consequences of your choices for others before you do something you may regret.
Hopefully, someone will come to you when you get to heaven shouting “IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT!” And with a hug and a huge smile say: “Because of you I gave my life to Jesus – and it’s all your fault!”
Blessings, Ed 😊