“But let no man bring a charge, let no man accuse another, for your people are like those who bring charges against a priest.” (Hosea 4:4)
I’m going to assume that the majority of you reading my blog posts are adults. As adults, God has given most of us the mental capacity to read His Word, follow the convictions and leading of the Holy Spirit, and make decisions that align to each. We need to stop blaming other people or things for the sins that we commit.
“Well, he was the one that started it!”
“But she did this, so I have the right to retaliate!”
“It was just too tempting, I couldn’t resist!”
God has given us the ability and responsibility to make wise decisions (a.k.a. free will) in that we would freely choose to love, worship, and obey Him. Thus, whatever the situation is, we ultimately make our own decisions in how we respond.
In Hosea 4, we read not only about the people of Israel repeatedly sinning and falling into idolatry, but even the priests and prophets themselves! God’s warning went both ways… the people couldn’t blame the priests for their sins, while at the same time the priests were not to blame anyone else but themselves for the nation’s unfaithfulness to the Lord.
When we blame our sin on others or on the circumstance we’re in, we fail to take responsibility and ownership. And what’s worse is, if we fail to take responsibility, it completely cripples our ability to repent. We can’t repent for something we don’t think is our fault.
Temptation is Satan’s game. If Satan was so bold as to repeatedly tempt Jesus (Matthew 4, Luke 4, etc.), the Son of God, then you KNOW with 100% certainty that he is constantly trying to lure us into sin as well. And when he does, it is ultimately our decision on whether we take the bait or not, which means we can’t even blame our sin on Satan or his demons.
Wicked spouse, heretical church leader, vile neighbor, seductive situation, provoking circumstance… whatever it may be that surrounds us, God calls us to fix our eyes on Him and sin no more. The more we study His Word and lean on His Spirit, the more we will be able to identify and recognize what is contrary to God’s will in any of these situations.
By no means am I saying this is easy, but I am saying that this is what He calls us to. Will we fail? Yes, sometimes we will, because we’re human. Thank the Lord that for those who genuinely call Jesus Lord and Savior, that even when we do fail, we are covered by the blood of Christ as we repent and turn away from our unfaithfulness!
But at the same time, God calls His royal priesthood (Christians) to a higher standard. He provides everything we need to keep us from falling, by the power of the Spirit, the Word of God, the fellowship of believers, and the capacity to make wise decisions.
Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or the day after, you will undoubtedly be tempted to sin. As God demanded of Israel, its priests, and its prophets, take ownership of your decisions in times of temptation. He calls us to repentance, not to shifting blame.
[From January 25, 2019]