I recently read an article denoting some keys to effective growth. One of the author’s suggestions was to avoid using “if-only” statements at all cost. This involves blaming another person or group for your failings. If only someone else were doing a better job, then things would change for the better. In education this might represent inattentive parents or involvement from an out of touch government. In your community this might be blaming politicians or the economy for the current state of affairs. If only we had good leaders… If only there were more jobs…
This thinking can also affect our discipleship! Think about think about the “if-only” statements that we often times revert to regarding the public assembly. “If only so and so were here. They needed that sermon!” “If only Sister _______ would assist more with cleanup, things would be better.” “If only other people would give more, we could better minster to others!”
We are also prone to play the blame game in other areas of our walk. My friends, this is most unproductive. The Bible teaches that discipleship begins with us. In Philippians 2:12, the apostle Paul instructs us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. He then outlines how we are responsible for shining as lights in a crooked and perverse world. The onus is not on those that are evil, but we who have been quickened by the Spirit.
While most problems are generally complex with multiple areas of blame, God expects behavior change and growth to begin with us. Who are you blaming for your surrounding woes? The economy? The government? A different race? Evil people in your community? Slack church members? Scripture requires change to begin with you! What areas of life are you stuck in a rut because you are playing the “if only” game?
Michael D. Green, Jr.