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Friday, August 15, 2014

Accepting Responsibility

“Fathers have eaten green grapes, thus their children’s teeth are on edge”? Ez 18:2

It is tempting to blame our parents or a previous generation for all our woes. Recent political commentary does this in spades. Those wanting to enforce a balanced federal budget claim that not doing so now will unfairly burden our children and their children. In other words, if we don't agree with their insistence that a balanced budget is an absolute, we have no compassion towards the next generation and will put "our children's teeth on edge." What happens to the people who depend on government aid for food, shelter and clothing seems not to matter.

Ezekiel insists that God will not punish the next generation for our sins. Rather, God will set us free, lead us out of exile and restore us to our rightful place as God's holy people. At the same time, Ezekiel does not deny that how we live now has an effect on the next generation, but insists that God desires not to allow our behavior to be death dealing to our children's children. 

Ezekiel wants his generation to repent, to turn again toward God, and to live the law with joy and delight. This remains our task. Only when we accept responsibility for our own sins can we hope to witness to all, especially to our children, that reform and renewal are possible.

Today, don't blame anyone for your difficulties. Rather, ask God for help.

What situations most tempt you to blame others for your problems?

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