I think today could be a good day to address the issue of finger-pointing!
This notion ran through my head last Friday while our Trustees chair, Darryl Lackey and I were at the church discussing our new toilet project with a plumber. You won’t believe this but Mecklenburg County coding is interfering with our goals!
Part of our conversation with the plumber was his statement that this is a commercial project and therefore we needed toilet seats that were spit in the front rather than the oval kind.
Yes…I know! I can’t believe we’re having this conversation either!
We’re not discussing the protocols of brain surgery. We’re talking about some toilet seats that are inflating the cost of this project!
So, I asked the plumber why in the universe it mattered as to whether the toilet seats were split or oval? He indicated that he had no idea but the best speculation that he could come up with was that somehow, someway, somewhere in life, somebody sued somebody and now we are required to install split toilet seats in commercial projects.
My mind went wild! I saw my mother’s twin brothers playing horseshoes with toilet seats (which they have done) and one of them had an unfair advantage by using a split seat, which caused a feud, erupting in violence.
Finger-pointing ensued. And, in our litigious society, a lawsuit was not far behind.
Yes, I am being facetious but this falls in the you can’t make this stuff up department. What we can infer with the spilt-seat code is that somehow, someone got hurt with an oval seat and a lawsuit drove the implementation of a county code.
It seems that finger-pointing is a human artform. The only two people on the planet, back in the day, jumped all over this bandwagon.
The scene opens and the Lord is not happy…at all! Somebody has eaten fruit from the tree, the one that was in the middle of the garden, the one that the Lord said, “Don’t eat or touch (Genesis 3:3),” the one that was called the tree of knowledge of good and evil!
God said, “Don’t!” Well, there’s your sign! All you have to do is tell someone don’t and it’s on!
Well, there is God; and, God is saying, “What have you done (Genesis 3:13)?”
Well, good ol’ Adam throws his wife, who incidentally is the only mortal human being on the planet at the time, under the bus. Tossing away fifty percent of the human population without a care, Adam says, “THAT WOMAN you put here—she gave me some fruit and I ate it (Genesis 3:12, a little emphasis from me remembering a certain political figure some years ago).”
So, let’s engineer that verse. Adam is blaming God and Eve all at the same time for his depravity.
It was God’s fault for sending THAT WOMAN in the first place and she led him astray. That’s some major finger-pointing going on.
So, what does Eve do? “The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate (Genesis 3:13b NIV).’”
Let’s recap! Adam throws God and Eve under the bus. Eve then throws the serpent under the bus.
Neither Adam nor Eve take any responsibility for their failure. And, this brings us to modern times.
Nobody can make even one inch of growth with regard to spiritual formation without confession. Remember, the three most powerful words in the English language are, “I was wrong!”
We can in no way enter the Kingdom without putting an end to finger-pointing and adopting a stance of confession. The apostle Paul links our very salvation to posture, “For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved (Romans 10:10 NIV).”
Four decades ago, comedian Flip Wilson gained fame and notoriety by dressing up as a woman named Geraldine Jones and proclaiming loudly, “The devil made me buy this dress!”
“The devil kept following me and telling me how good I looked! The devil just shoved me in the door (of the store)…and he pulled a gun and threatened me!”
Enjoy some humor if you wish:
In all honesty, we will never enjoy abundant living if we’re spending all of our time finger-pointing. God’s design is for us to have joy; and, we’ll never achieve authentic joy without confession and repentance. But…once we own our part of any debacle, the door immediately open for recovery and renewal.