There are several questions we should have in mind as we read and study the Bible.
Here’s one: Who does what?
You see, we get messed up when we try to do for ourselves what is for God to do.
We also get really messed up when we wait for God to do what God has told us to do.
As we open the Bible, particularly in passages of teaching, ask the question:
Who’s responsible here?
Let’s look at one short passage as an example.
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.Romans 12:17-19
First we’ll look at God’s part here. There’s one thing in particular here that’s for God and we’re told to back off it. Did you see it?
Taking revenge is NOT something God invites us to do. Jesus was very clear on this (See Matt. 5 for example). God will take care of that. Leave it to him.
Yet there are other things here that WE are told, encouraged, commanded to take responsibly for.
Be careful to do what is right…
As much as possible, live at peace…
When we look through many other texts, we see more and more of these instructions TO US.
These are not things for us to wait for God to do for us.
These are not things for us to make excuses for.
“You don’t understand, our family has this temper problem…”
“Well, my parents always told me…”
“If I had what they have maybe I could do it…”
Just stop it.
As a forgiven, empowered apprientice of Jesus, God has not called you to do anything that he does not expect you – through the power of the Holy Spirit – to actually be able to learn to do.
Some of us need to stop making excuses.
Accept the reality that because God’s desire is to transform us through and through.
Stop making excuses and please don’t blame God for not doing what he’s told you to do.
Peace and love.