I spend a lot of time counseling people as a pastor. I hear lots of sad stories. Stories of neglect and abuse and disappointment and betrayal. It is incredible to me how many people are going through real pain. Real pain – I mean stuff that is thick and gross and life altering. As I hear these things and work through them, my heart often breaks for the people and what they are dealing with. But sometimes in the middle of these talks or after I reflect on a session, I get sad and frustrated and can even begin to get angry.
Now before I say what angers and frustrates me, let me say that what I am about to describe does not pertain to every situation. There are situations where there is just random tragedy or lousy circumstances or unforeseen betrayal or whatever. That said, MANY times that is not the case at all.
Here is what I get sad and annoyed by…people are so slow to admit their part in the situation. Yes, you are drowning, but please admit that you walked out on the dock with weights tied around your ankles. Someone may have pushed you, but you made choices that have significantly impacted the reasons you are having a hard time swimming. You made the business deal, or bought the house, or married that guy, or broke the law, or risked your money on the stock, or made that your major in school, etc. And hear is what happens…people see the person who pushes them in as the source of all their issues. We look to blame and it is amazing how easy it is for all of us to blame some one else. Here it is…stand up and say, “I did this.” It has been my decisions and my choices that have gotten me here. I am responsible. I have reasoned this. Much of the pain we all deal with is the result of self-inflicted wounds. This is hard to admit, but it is true.
I am thankful the God of the Bible is one who forgives and one who grants second chances. Jesus does offer new life and redemption from our sins. But let us also remember that He has built consequences and discipline into the world He created. You or I break it…you or I buy it.