The Pointing Finger
“The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.’” Gen 3:12. “Then I said, ‘O LORD, you have driven me from your presence’” Jonah 2:4.
Both of these verses are such reminders that even in deep fellowship with God our human nature tends to take over our mouths. Beginning with the Garden of Eden, we find Adam’s underlying motive being to blame God for his disobedience (…the woman you put here). Then, we find Jonah who blatantly and admittedly ran from God in the opposite direction of Jerusalem. Yet he prays that God has driven him away.
It is easy to blame God for both our mistakes and responses to our circumstances. We disobediently make decisions and find ourselves in a situation where we are withholding grace from another. We find an audience that will validate our attitudes and behavior driving us further from God. Our wounds and sense of entitlement to our emotions become conversation with others instead of taking it to God. I have actually caught myself in my prayers reminding God of the transgressions of another. In reality, I should be lifting them up in my prayers asking for both forgiveness for my unloveliness and blessings for their lives. God’s law above all others is the law of love. When we move away from loving another we are driving ourselves from the presence of God. God is neither responsible for our attitudes or our actions. Our sinful self is responsible for our responses.
‘When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.’ James 1:13-14. The bottom line is: if we find ourselves dragged away by our emotions and attitudes, we are the ones who have broken fellowship with God.