I am Responsible... -Nehemiah 9 and 10
I looked at my watch and saw that the teachers should be here any second to collect their students from lunch. The students were all ready and lined up to go. At least I thought they were, until I saw a first grade boy using his water bottle to spray students in the other line. I headed in his direction, threw away the bottle and set the boy down. As I tried to find out why he was spraying everyone with water, he kept babbling about someone who was hitting him and bothering him. I tried to focus on the problem I had seen but to no avail. He could not see his wrong doing because he was blaming his circumstances and others instead of himself. I really couldn't see how his spraying other people with water was someone else's fault and actually told him so. With a warning to him that next time we would be seeing the principal, I headed back to the front of the line.
Blaming others and our circumstances for our behavior is classic. It began in the garden of Eden and continues today. As Israel gathered to confess their sins. They left the excuses behind and faced up to their sins and those of their ancestors. They realized that God had been more than fair with his people. There were no excuses. They were guilty. So they threw themselves at the mercy of God who is "a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love." (9:17) They asked his forgiveness and made a binding agreement to renew their commitment to God and his temple.
Lessons for me from these chapters.
1. There are no excuses with God. He knows all. I need to take responsibility for my actions and seek his forgiveness. It is then that I can truly change.
2. Confession, change and commitment started with the leadership namely the Levites. In my family I need to lead the way in being honest when I do wrong and committing to the right path.
3. I need accountability. I may not have a binding agreement like they did, but I need people in my life who will help me when I stray from God's perfect plan.
4. Remembering what God has done puts all things into perspective. I often focus on the now forgetting all that God has done and how patient He has been with me.
Dear God, Thank you that you are a forgiving and compassionate God. You are faithful even we are not. You long for us to obey you and bring glory to your name. Show me my sin. Show me the right path. May you bring healing and forgiveness to this land starting with me and my family. Amen