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Tag Archives: blaming God

Over Playing the Victim Card

Over the past year, cable news networks have reported about the transformation occurring on college and university campuses throughout the United States.  Some of these exclusives have addressed the transition from education and knowledge based curriculum toward political and social activism.  One college professor recently gave students the option to either take a final exam or participate in a group project.  The class chose to protest Trump at a nearby rally.

“As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice, the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,” Job 27:2.

One of the angles disgruntled voters are taking is victimology.  Instead of fighting through adversity, battling disappointment and overcoming failures, the victim card is being played over and over again.  Sure, many individuals are dealt an unfair hand in life.  This is a painful reality in this life.  Yet, God is not pleased when his own followers join the crowd of the disenfranchised.  Seeking pity from the privileged isn’t the right course of action.  Rather, the Lord has a better choice for those unable to grasp why bad things happen to good people.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear, Ephesians 4:29.

When his friends began to hint that recent trials were self-inflicted, part of some secret sin, Job began to play the victim card.  Within Job 27, this man of integrity begins to blame God for his problems.  This was Job’s fatal flaw, an inappropriate response to his hardship.  The apostle Paul introduces a more appropriate course of action.  Despite how you really feel inside, negative comments, harsh criticism and demoralizing words doesn’t solve your situation.  Rather, ask the Lord for rays of hope, signs of progress and a spirit of optimism.  In doing this, you will turn your victim card in for a peace that surpasses understanding.

by Jay Mankus

The Disappointments in Life

If birds of a feather flock together, then misery does love company.  Playing the victim card allows individuals to dwell upon their disappointments in life.  Like the shark encounters scene in Jaws, people often engage in stories to one up the other.  The ultimate goal is to seek pity from others, to buy your sob story.

And you sent widows away empty-handed and broke the strength of the fatherless, Job 22:9.

When you read the account of Job’s trials within the first two chapters of his book, its hard to find someone who has endured such heartache.  After three friends come to support Job, each begin to wonder why would God allow all these horrible things happen to such a great guy.  The more each reflected upon Job’s disappointments in life, their reasoning changes.   Supportive friends, soon became critics, urging Job to confess a hidden sin at the core of his hardships.  Surely, this must be the reason for disappointment.

That is why snares are all around you, why sudden peril terrifies you, Job 22:10.

The one mistake Job does make is blaming God for all his troubles.  I guess Job fell into the trap most do, believing life is suppose to be full of blessings once you commit your life to God.  Unfortunately, the contrary is true as difficult times serve as a refining process.  Tests create an environment to promote growth, maturity and perseverance.  Therefore, the next time disappointment comes your way, consider it a pure joy, James 1:2-4.  Developing this mindset will prevent you from blaming God as well as make you a complete person.

by Jay Mankus

Eloi, Eloi, Lema Sabachthani

One of the worst things you can endure in life is knowing that you’re right, but not being able to prove it right away.  Thus, those who disagree with you will mock, prod and roast you publicly.  This is the fate Jesus experienced while suffering on a cross.  All the doubters and haters came out to disgrace Jesus until God turned out the lights.

And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). – Mark 15:34

Today, many individuals feel as if God has forsaken them.  For one reason or another, trials are mistaken with abandonment.  When individuals suffer for an extended period of time, the human mind blames God rather than correctly diagnose the situation.  Instead of learning from the storms of life, most regress crying out, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38-39.

One thing that I have discovered in life is not to overreact.  Although things may not always turn out as I expect, time has a way of sorting out the truth.  Hindsight may reveal that God hasn’t abandoned you.  Rather, the Lord is pruning you, removing the unproductive areas of your life.  Therefore, the next time you’re tempted to complain, remember the promise of Romans 8:38-39.

by Jay Mankus

 

My Two Cents on Lent

Beginning on Ash Wednesday and continuing until Easter Sunday, Lent is a season of preparation for Christians.  This forty day period commences with a service remembering God’s words to Adam, ” from dust you were created out of, from dust you will return.”  Like anything in life, it takes time to prepare one’s heart to transition from the natural to the supernatural.  Thus, Lent serves as an annual journey to embrace the memory of a resurrected Messiah.

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” – Genesis 3:19

Unfortunately, this tradition is often limited to six weeks instead of maintaining faith throughout the year.  Sometime after Easter egg hunts end, when chocolates candies disappear and the emotion of this spiritual holiday ceases, people go back to their former ways of life.  Like hibernating animals, faith goes into hiding, sleeping until the winter is replaced by Spring.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” – Job 1:20-21

Now at the half way point of Lent, its not too late to awake from a spiritual slumber.  Though shocked upon receiving the tragic news that his children perished, the Lord gave Job a heavenly perspective.  Instead of blaming God or becoming bitter, Job remembered the gift of life.  Therefore, as the season of Lent continues may the Holy Spirit transform you to become grateful for the hidden miracles in life.

by Jay Mankus

Afflictions Eclipsed by Glory

Usually, I have a tendency to ask God, “why me” when troubles arise.  Yet, as I was worshiping the Lord in song this morning, I received a brief reply.  Like a snap shot or vision, my afflictions of the past and present occur so that these trials can be eclipsed by God’s glory.

The first major affliction I endured arrived on graduation day, when one of my best friends from high school was diagnosed with cancer.  When her cancer went into remission 1 year later, I breathed a deep sigh of relief until it returned to take Maureen’s life abruptly.  Without experiencing this hardship, I probably would have become a golf course architect, my concentration in college, instead of entering youth ministry.

My second malady was self inflicted, on a golf course while attempting to earn my players card to become a certified P.G.A. professional.  I hit 26 out of 36 greens in regulation, 22 out of 28 fairways and played the hardest hole 1 under par through 2 rounds.  Somewhere in the spiritual realm, strange acts of nature kept by ball from going in the hole, especially when I 3 and 4 putted the same hole, missing my card by 2 shots.  Yet, this epic failure prompted me to become a high school Bible teacher for a decade.

Finally, losing my teaching position in 2012 was a tough blow to my confidence and ego.  However, from the ashes of despair, God carried me until I was ready for my next assignment.  As I start this new adventure on Tuesday with Amazon, I don’t know what the future holds.  Nonetheless, whether, good, bad or indifferent, any afflictions I suffer will surely be eclipsed by God’s glory.

by Jay Mankus

 

When the Lord Turns His Face

Sometimes in life, you don’t achieve the results you’re looking for.  Instead, you begin to search for answers to explain why you were defeated, failed and were unsuccessful.   As you wrestle for the truth, some may be tempted to blame God.  Although you may never discover the source of life’s failure, there are times when the Lord turns His face.

According to the director of music, God does not listen to those who cherish sin in their hearts, Psalm 66:18.  As individuals begin to entertain, harbor, foster and nurture sinful desires, it becomes impossible to please God, Romans 8:5-8.  Once minds are set on self indulgence, the Lord will wait to act until you’re willing to come back to your senses, Isaiah 1:15-16.

The next time disappointment knocks on your door, may be its time to search your heart, to see if you’re to blame, Psalm 139:23-24.  If no one is clearly at fault, perhaps you’re experiencing growing pains, 1 Peter 1:5-7, as the Lord is preparing you for the future.  Whatever obstacle you are currently facing, don’t forget that the Lord will turn His face and if God does remember what you need to do to regain His attention, Romans 12:1-2.

by Jay Mankus

 

Empty Hands

When disaster, tragedy or the unexplainable strikes an innocent soul, God often get’s the blame.  Accusations, complaining and questioning follow as people search for answers beneath the rumble left behind.  In the background, overhearing these conservations, the Lord is disappointed, by empty hands, always taking yet never giving.

Lost in history are the words at the end of Exodus 23:15, “no one is to appear before me empty handed.”  During the good times in life, God is like a friend we lose touch with, too busy to carve out any time in our daily schedule.  Pride puffs up our minds, thinking we are the reason for success.  Solomon was right in Proverbs 16:18 as pride foreshadows our fall, as individuals come crashing back to earth.

One could make the assumption that part of Jesus’ teaching in the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 relates to bringing God our best, not just the leftovers.  Exodus 23:19 illustrates what full hands resemble, offering up your first fruits to God.  Modern examples could be giving Jesus your first moments awake each morning, listening God’s Word first thing or giving your first paycheck of the month to the local church.

The next time you are tempted to grumble against the Lord, ask yourself this question.  Did I give God my full, partial or little attention today?  Depending upon your reply, maybe you need to fill your hands before you lift them up to the Lord in prayer.  When you learn to give, God will pay it forward in His time, Ecclesiastes 3:11.  As for now, gather before a poor witness causes countless to scatter from the faith, Matthew 12:30.

by Jay Mankus