by: FCC Staff
When a man's folly brings his way to ruin,
his heart rages against the Lord.
One of the most tragic things to witness in life is someone whose life is bereft of the peace and love of God, struggling to find purpose and direction in life and turning their anger towards God in frustration. When we feel entitled to a good life, outside the will of God, we are on a one-way flight to disappointment. When we are new to our faith, we may view God’s wisdom and commands as a set of rules to follow so we don’t get in trouble. As we mature and enjoy the benefits of God’s grace, usually the realization sets in; God’s rules KEEP me out of trouble and strife.
But we often lash out at those who want to guide us in another direction when we face hardship in our lives. We grumble against doctors after an unfavorable prognosis, lament over our teachers when we receive a failing grade, or lambast our boss after a poor performance review. Looking not at how their feedback is in our best interests, we make the problem THEM and not us.
So it’s only logical that we may be tempted to blame God when the world doesn’t seem fair. We can compare our lives to others and feel like God is specifically against us when, in reality, we are our own worst enemies. We may look at other believers in our lives and feel like they have it all together, that God shows them special favor, and they don’t struggle the way we do. This is folly. Everyone struggles, most of the time.
In Galatians chapter 6, we read, “Bear one another's burden, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.”
This is an interesting idea that Paul lays out and the wisdom is very profound. First, we are told to bear on another’s burdens, and not to think too highly of ourselves. Then we are told to look at our own work and that we will each bear our own loads. So we share in the burdens of others, not thinking that we are too good to do so, but in the end take personal accountability for our own actions. This is a great way to avoid the folly of false comparisons with others and then, in turn, blame God when you don’t think things add up.
When you know the burdens and struggles of others, then you know that you aren’t alone in yours. Every Christian who has ever existed or ever will struggle with sin. But in the end, we can’t find fault in others or with God when our struggles bring hardship into our lives. When we isolate and take a lone-wolf approach to our faith, we are foolishly lying to ourselves. We are not wolves, we are sheep! If we wander off, we’re bound for trouble.
So today, make sure you surround yourself with other Christians who can bear your burdens, and you can help them with theirs. To do otherwise invites folly, and in turn, bitterness and a hard heart towards God. What a tragedy it is to not review the Good News fully for ourselves: “there is no distinction: all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-23). So when we trip up and our sins bring hardship in our lives, let’s be wise and share our burdens with others, not foolishly blame God for our faults that he so graciously forgives.
Prayer for Today:
Father, keep me near to you today. Surround me with your love and the love of my fellow believers. Help me to reach out when I am struggling, that I may take hold of the salvation that is offered to me, and accept responsibility for my sins. Jesus when I am tempted to wander, shepherd me back to safety. By your Holy Spirit keep my heart humble and my way straight. Amen.