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Pointers along the way #673

Willing to own up?

- Jacob Ninan

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, unexpectedly for them, the knowledge they got was a very distorted one! Overnight they became experts at finding ways to wriggle out of their own responsibility for the wrong they did and to put the blame on someone or something else! This is the tendency we are all born with now. But a transformation takes place when the light of the Gospel enters our dark mind. We begin to see ourselves as sinners who deserve the judgment of hell on our lives. If this does not happen, then the conversion is not genuine, and such a person's spiritual experience is at best superficial.

But it looks like this conviction does not become clearer and clearer as it ought to, in many lives. The closer we get to God who dwells in perfect 'light', we are supposed to see more and more of the hidden areas of our life and how corrupt we are to the core, according to our 'old man'. We are supposed to lose our confidence in ourselves and become more dependent on God's grace as time goes on. But actually this process may not have even begun in some of our lives, got stuck at some level, or not made much progress. When we have a problem with someone else, don't we quickly see what is wrong with that person and fail to see anything wrong with us? Even when there is obviously something wrong with the other person, we still fail to see what was wrong in our response! There is a lot of blindness in our spiritual sight. Jesus was right in comparing it with having a log in our own eyes while we try to take off the speck in the other's eye (Mt.7:3-5).

Another area where we fail to see light is when we think of the contribution of our parents and the experiences of our childhood in shaping us. It may be true that some of us have suffered damage in our psychological development because of the neglect or abuse we have faced in our growing years. (It is possible that sometimes our parents did something good for us but we misinterpreted it because of our limited understanding. Even then we may have suffered damage.) Now we may be going around upset with those who harmed us and with God for handing us such a bad start in life. But as long as we continue in this approach to life, we may not realise that we are only adding further to the damage.

Why don't we own up to the fact that even when others have done us harm, our wrong response to them has hurt us deeply? Why don't we realise that what we are now is the result not only of the circumstances we have gone through but also of all the choices we have made in response to those circumstances?

Joseph had 13 years of adversity in his life beginning with his brothers selling him off, and ending up in prison. But he kept his faith in God and His ultimate plan for his life, and made the right choice to forgive his brothers and move on (Ge.50:20). Are we willing to own up the responsibility for our life and start making the right moves at least now?


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