Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Who's responsible?

I was reading my Bible this morning, the story of Ahab and Elijah. It seemed so reminiscent of our culture today, when theres a problem its "not my fault" is often what we hear or say, no-one prepared to take responsibility for their actions. Maybe because we don't like being seen in a bad light, perhaps because we don't really like being wrong or are not prepared to take the consequences for our actions?

Whatever the reason we need to ask ourselves "how do I react to getting something wrong or there being bad consequences to my actions or words?".

We believe in a God who having created humans with the freedom to choose, saw that we can and do get stuff dreadfully wrong and often with no way to put it right or restore our broken relationship with him. God chose to intervene, which we have just celebrated at Christmas, taking personal action to restore what we get wrong. Accepting the consequences of humanities' wrong choices, he came as one of us, taking those consequences upon himself and putting them right by dying on a cross so that we might not be punished or take those same consequences.

Ahab's choice was to blame Elijah - troubler of the  people, he called him, for the fact that God had shut the heavens and they had had bad harvests. When the real problem was Ahab (and his ancestors') installing other god's in Israel. But Ahab was king, in his own mind he only did right so it cannot have been his fault, it must be someone else's - Elijah's; how wrong he was, read the rest of the story and you will see just how wrong!

When we see things going wrong in our societies today, do we ask ourselves what are we getting wrong or what do we need to put right with God? Possibly we would rather look for someone else to blame, the government, a particular social or ethnic group, circumstances or whatever ...

Its a challenge to all who call Jesus their saviour to own up to our mistakes, Don Francisco wrote a pointed song about this a few years back "It's your own fault" wrong choices or plain old foolishness, often this will have a material price as we put right what we got wrong. We can do something about it, we can own up and take responsibility, we can ask God's forgiveness and not blame others for our mistakes.

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