Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Accusing Finger

In life we have all met them. Oh yea you know what I am talking about. I mean those who are always pointing accusing finger at others, those who apportion blames, yes those who always find fault with others. It is always their fault and never mine. They are always wrong and I am always right. It all started with our first parents, Adam and Eve. Read Genesis 3:8-13: “When they heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of the day, the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The Lord God then called to the man and asked him, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden: but I was afraid, because I was naked, so I hid myself.” Then he asked, “Who told you that you were naked? You have eaten, then, from the tree of which I had forbidden you to eat! The man replied, “The woman whom you put here with me – she gave me fruit from the tree, so I ate it.” The Lord God then asked the woman, “Why did you do such a thing?” The woman answered, “The serpent tricked me into it, so I ate it.”

There you have it! It is not your fault; it is the fault of Adam and Eve. You are justified indeed not to take blames for anything. You have a false sense of entitlement which makes it easy for you to be right at all times. It is not your fault that you cannot accept that you are ever wrong. It is not your fault that you have become a judge rather than a fellow pilgrim on this journey called life.

But can you stop and think just for a brief moment? Check back and look at your finger when you point it at others. You see, life has taught us a lesson of how wrong we may possibly be not to have observed that when you point one finger (Index finger) at someone, the thumb sometimes looks up (or points) to God while the other three are pointing directly at you. The thumb seems to agree with Ps. 130:3,4, “If you, Lord, mark our sins, Lord, who can stand? But with you is forgiveness and so you are revered.” The three fingers pointing at you, on the hand, are telling you take a look at yourself and your actions: is it really true that you are always blameless in every situation and at all times? Why not ask yourself this simple question: what did I do to provoke such reaction from the other person? Was I perhaps responsible for the reaction I got from that person? Did I behave as a true brother/sister to this person or that person in that situation? It is always good to be introspective, to really look at the man/woman in the mirror to see if I am really blameless.

David was a close friend of God. He sinned terribly against God and humanity up to the point that he did not recognize himself in the story portraying his sinfulness. When Nathan confronted him, David acknowledged his sins. In verse 13 of the second book of Samuel chapter 12, David said, “I have sinned against the Lord”. Please read the whole story in 2 Samuel 11:1-12:1-15. In his remorse, David wrote Psalm 51. In verses 5-7, David wrote, “For I know my offense; my sin is always before me. Against you alone have I sinned; I have done such evil in your sight that you are just in your sentence, blameless when you condemn. True, I was born guilty, a sinner, even as my mother conceived me.” It is only a person who examines his life daily who can admit that he/she is wrong at times. Socrates, the Greek philosopher stated clearly that, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” That is to say that we should be engaged constantly on self-examination and seek to compare ourselves to God rather than human beings. When we compare ourselves to God we discover that we are constantly in need of change and improvement; but when we compare ourselves to others, we will always be tempted to think that we are better than every other person. We find fault with everyone else because we are better than them.

Jesus Christ has strong words for us for thinking this way. Listen to him, “Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye, while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first, then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye’” Mt. 7:1-5. In his universal epistle, James 4:11-12 exhorts us in these words, “Do not speak evil of one another, brothers. Whoever speaks evil of a brother or judges his brother speaks evil of the law and judges the law. If you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save or to destroy. Who then are you to judge your neighbor?

There you are. Before you engage yourself in that blame game you love to play so very much, ask yourself: ‘am I really that better than everyone else?’ Don’t you think you should show some love to your brothers and sisters rather than sit in judgment over them? The golden rule puts it thus: “Do to others whatever you would have them do to you”, Mt. 7:12. As you would not want people to point accusing finger at you, do not point accusing finger at others. The world would be a better place if we could observe this simple rule.

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