So, let me confess my sin up front: In my private devotional time with the Lord, I love reading from the New International Version. Yes, the NIV, which some have labeled the “Nearly Inspired Version” (i.e. NIV). All jokes aside, it is easy for me to get into my head and away from my heart. The NIV helps me with this. The everyday, “readableness” of this version helps me open my heart and not just my mind. Mind and heart. My prayer for the last 10 years has been, “Lord, sharpen my mind and soften my heart.”
This morning I picked up where I left off in Matthew. I came across a passage that read,
“Going on from that place, he [Jesus] went into their synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they [Pharisees] asked him, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?'” (Matthew 12:9-10)
The phrase that really stood out to me was that their was a group of people that were “looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus.” To be honest, I believe that we as Christians are a little to quick to accuse God. Does God allow honest, very honest, conversation? Absolutely! If he didn’t, I would have been struck dead many times over by now. But the flip side of coin is that there is such a thing as being too careless, too flippant, too causal with things that are bothering us. Maybe you are in a dating relationship and the other person ends it unexpectedly. You get mad at God. You accuse him of sabotaging once again your hope and dream for a permanent, lifelong relationship. This effects your relationship with him. Yet, in many of these cases, the relationship was doomed to failure anyways. No one sought God’s will in the beginning, at least not genuinely. What do I mean by genuinely? Well, be honest. So many times we ask God’s will though we are so emotionally invested we have already decided the course of action we are going to take. Our prayer for God’s will is nothing more than waiting around till we have some sort of peace, even if manufactured, so we can enjoy the peace that comes from knowing two things: (1) I really sought God’s opinion, and (2) He said this was OK.
Or maybe someone died “early.” Maybe the financial breakthrough never came or your business failed. Or you could be a pastor that thought you were called to change the world and the “only” thing God has for you is to change a town. Maybe you thought you were finally going to get “that job” and it never materialized. The list goes on and on. Unfortunately, heartbreak, I mean real heartbreak and disappointment, occur all of the time. No person, not even God’s elect, is immune. So is our predicament.
But, there is a different between having an honest relationship with the Lord and being the type of person that seems to be always looking for some reason to accuse Jesus in your heart. I bet sometimes this is associated with a victim mentality. So which will you be? An honest Christian who loves Christ and is honest. Or, someone that is constantly looking for a reason to blame God for something so that in the end, you do not have to take responsibility for some of the sin and brokenness in your own heart and life?
If you are going to “look for a reason,” look for a reason to love, worship, and thank him for something in your life.