My three-year-old daughter is obsessed with bubbles. Since its been warmer out as of recent, shes traded in Dora the Explorer On Demand for the great outdoors. She even has a machine that blows massive amounts of bubbles, so she and the machine work together to ensure our small lot is a bubble extravaganza. Yesterday she was so engulfed in the whole experience that I was able take a few moments to pick up a bit around the yard. Its hardly a yard, and more like a greenish brown postage stamp with litter on it.
My sister (who lives in the apartment above mine) had left a large plastic container out, which had filled with water after it rained. As I was dumping it out, I began to curse her name as blue paint poured out all over my boots and patio. Apparently there were paint cans lurking below the surface of rainwater. I was not pleased. My daughter came running around the corner asking why I was yelling and screaming, and saw the mess I had made.
I hosed down the patio, and we continued with the bubble may lay. About an hour later my sister arrived home, and my daughter chased her up the stairs yelling Titi (Auntie) YOU spilled the paint! YOU did it! You made a MESS! My sister asked me what on earth her niece was talking about. I tried to play it off, stating that I had emptied her containers contents and accidentally spilled some paint, but it was too late. My sister knows me better than that, and it was evident I had an outburst and was blaming her.
I couldnt get out of it. I admitted I had blamed her. Loudly. My kid dimed me out.
Last week a teenager in my city was stabbed in the heart and shortly thereafter passed away. He was just a kid. There were reportedly up to forty other people who witnessed the murder, however, it took the police several days to arrest all of the perpetrators. Im just speculating, but my guess is many of the witnesses developed a sudden case of amnesia. Youve seen the t-shirts: Snitches are a Dying Breed, or Stop Snitching.
Modern culture has convinced us that personal responsibility for our own actions is unimportant. Our trends glorify and celebrate self. Character and dignity are replaced by childish behaviors and cowardly ways. Honor is not always celebrated.
Whether we are talking about something as fickle as anger expressed due to a paint spill, or something as grave as a murder, ultimately our own sin finds us, doesnt it? Numbers 32:23 says your sin will find you out. (NIV) In the end, we have to answer to our Maker in how we treat one another, and owning our own actions is a part of becoming Christ-like.
1 Corinthians 13:11 says When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (NIV)
As ministers (and as Believers, we all hold that title) it is important that we aspire to grow in our faith. A large contributor to that growth is our willingness to emulate Jesus by embracing humility and ownership of our actions.