Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Of Course it Isn't My Fault

This week while at camp with 3rd-6th graders I've been reminded how limited a child's perspective is. This isn't really their fault. This is one of the best groups I have ever taken to kids' camp. It's simply incredibly difficult for children to think of anyone other than themselves. Their perspective on life, their view of the world and all that goes on in it is completely locked in on themselves. Their feelings, their assumptions and their experience of any given situation govern how they view it. They are so trapped by their own perspective that it becomes the definitive measure of truth. It is unassailable, undoubted, and unquestioned. Their feelings and thoughts on the matter are their Truth.

While it is wholly understandable that children struggle with this, the sad truth is that many of us still struggle with it as adults. We get into a conflict with a co-worker or our spouse and we are trapped by our own perspective. We are unable or unwilling to see the conflict from their side. We get lost in sin and our lives begin to unravel in all the negative consequences, but we are unable to see the fallout as the result of our own decisions. We blame our families, the church, God, other people, anyone and everyone except ourselves. The Bible tells the story of a young man who was trapped by his perspective this way in Luke 15. Read these verses from the familiar story of the prodigal son.
“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.’ So he got up and went to his father."
We don't know exactly who the prodigal son blamed for his plight. Maybe he blamed it on the famine (v. 14). It is hard to be certain, but we do know that it wasn't until he "came to his senses" that he was able to see the truth of his situation- that it was his own sin that landed him in this terrible spot and that the proper course was repentance.

The idea of being so locked in by my own perspective scares me. The thought that we could be so deluded, so self-deceived as to be totally blind to the fact that we are causing our own suffering is frightening. But the good news is that we serve a God who is in the business of bringing people to their senses. Will you ask God to open your eyes today, to bring you to your senses in any way you may need it so that you can see the true condition of your heart and life? Maybe in addition to that you also need to go to a spouse or a friend and ask them to openly and honestly share with you what sin they notice in your life. You might just be surprised what you find out about yourself.

For further reading...

No comments: