I will never forget my encounter with a man in Center City. As I presented the gospel to him, he shared with me how alcohol had destroyed his life for the past 20 years. The more he shared, the more he became angry….at God! He viewed his alcoholism as a disease he “caught,” and that God was unwilling to heal him. Not once did he take personal responsibility! In his eyes, his present misery was everyone else’s fault—except his own. As I read the Bible, I understand the deceptive power of human nature. As the first sin against God unfolds in Genesis 3, God seeks out the guilty pair. Although He knows what happened, the Lord approaches Adam with questions, hoping to draw out his confession and repentance. Instead of taking personal responsibility, Adam immediately deflects guilt to Eve. “The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it’” (Genesis 3:12). God then addresses Eve, who immediately blames the serpent. The story is sad but almost funny when you realize there are only two adults in the world, and neither of them claim to be at fault! As I consider this, I think of the condition of our world right now. How easy it is to blame all our problems on society or political leaders. During this challenging time of Covid, I have heard accounts of believers who have drifted away from God and try to blame “the church.” The Bible is clear. If I am to walk with God and make progress in spiritual growth, I must start by making it personal. My spiritual health (or lack of it) is not someone else’s fault. As 2022 unfolds, may we courageously take responsibility for our choices. The Lord is willing to give us the grace we need to choose wisely. As people of truth, we need to admit the great freedom God has given us to choose…and take personal responsibility to lead ourselves to Him.
Pastor Mark Boucher