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A Hard Pill To Swallow

(Exodus 24:7)

And he took the book of the covenant and read in the audience of the people: and they said, all that the Lord hath said we will do, and be obedient.”

(Deuteronomy 26:17)

Thou hast avouched (affirmed) the Lord this day to be thy God, and to walk in His ways, and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and to hearken (listen) unto His voice.

God's law demands complete obedience. (Deuteronomy 26;16) "This day the Lord thy God commanded thee to do these statutes and judgments; thou shalt therefore keep and do them with all thine heart, and with all thine soul.”

When the Israelites heard this requirement of the law from Moses and the elders, they confidently promised that they would obey. Just as forty years earlier, when the Lord first gave His law to His people, they responded in the same fashion.

Their intentions were certainly commendable. However, their actions were definitely not acceptable. Even before they had departed from the mountain where the law was given, they plunged into disobedience.

I truly believe that we all start with the best of intentions compatible with our ability and maturity level, however, once back into the everyday of life I have thought it as if we, somewhere in between, somehow forget. I see it now more simply as if like unto a child who just wants you, as their parent, to fix the problem, and not the symptom.

It’s not fair that my brother got to go play at his friends home after school and I had to go shopping with mom for groceries. Don’t explain to me that I am older and need to begin taking on more responsibility in the home; just agree with me and fix the problem by letting me do what I want. In this the child sees the symptom but doesn't want to acknowledge it because it is the harder thing to do.

More commonly with very young children the symptom is not even considered by the child because they don’t yet have the maturity level to consider it, it's in one ear then out the other.

With adults, like the very young children, the symptom is harder and usually takes longer, sometimes a lifetime to fix, so we opt to fix the problem and hope the symptom changes or fixes itself. What hinders us is that in the process, like a child, if we don’t see results in a timely fashion we lose heart. The demon's begin to over stimulate our thoughts with doubt.

One of the biggest doubts the demon's love to stimulate us with is the doubt of ignorance. You think or say to yourself, I don’t know how to handle this situation because I just don’t know enough. I’m not a therapist with a degree. This is simply skirting our responsibility as a man of God. Ignorance will make us miss the bridegroom. In Ephesians 4:22 Ignorance is “having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God. . . because of the blindness of their heart.” And, in Hebrews 5: 2a God says “who can have compassion on the ignorant.” God does not want us to be ignorant of the things of life.

At times for me it is the doubt of age. I’m getting too old to handle any more of these continual obstacles and situations that arise in my life, so I relinquish my responsibility to someone else, or something else (if married generally we lay the responsibility on the wife, who is not called to that responsibility). For me I would drown the responsibility, if only for a night, till I would pass out, then pick up where I left off in the morning.

Or the doubt of inferiority. I can’t do this or who am I, i’m not a P.H.D or have an MBA or a Pastor or even a Sunday school teacher?

Looking back on my life and studying the story of the Israelites in the desert of the Sinai peninsula, I have both empathy and sympathy for the anger Moses felt when the Israelites would say, more accurately profess, one thing and then do another. I've been on both sides of the coin, the receiving of someone's failed promise and the failing to keep a promise I made. There were many times in my life that I had given my word or promised to be somewhere or do something for someone and backed out without an explanation. Then, if I wanted to save the friendship, I would apologize only later on to do it again. One of the problems in my failure was that I didn't understand the definition of an apology.

I define an apology as a genuine regretful acknowledgment of an offence or failure, taking full responsibility for the offence or failure rather than justifying it. In correcting the solution to the symptom most of us only do half of the first part of the definition and mix up the later part. This is because people don’t have a solid understanding, as I didn't, of what it means to take full responsibility. We have adjusted to the demons of doubt and gave up living by the standard of God's word.

The danger is that we see our justification as warranted in a sense truthful, however, we get it mixed up, resulting in justifying at the same time we are apologizing. We do not see that the justification negates our responsibility and so our apology is not genuine. I'll give you an example.

You are going to the movies with a friend and your friend is twenty minutes late. When your friend arrives the first thing he or she says is, “sorry i’m late it took a lot longer at the grocery store than I expected.”

This sounds like a common response to not that serious of a situation. Yet in this simple response what is the friend doing? He or she is starting their apology by acknowledging the failure of not showing up on time, but he or she is justifying their responsibility by laying the blame on the long line at the grocery store rather than on themselves.

Why is it important to not do this? This person is justified. It is true the line was long at the grocery store, that is what made them late. So what is the problem with this? The problem is that this way of reasoning fosters a mindset that “my actions are not always my fault.” So we end up always having an excuse and it doesn't fix the symptom, the symptom is the same, it never changes, in fact it then can’t change. We end up getting frustrated because our mind is set on what we think is the right interpretation, perception, and yet the same problem still arises. Then we are in the room of “well that’s just the way it is!” We end up in another demon possessed room of doubt, it's a hereditary thing. I can't change because this is how God made me, He made me stubborn. If God made me more flexible, I would be able to adjust. We are not practicing 1 Corinthians 5:17 "therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old thing are passed away; behold, all thing are become new."

I’m going to say something that you might disagree with but in my opinion the remedy to the symptom, the first layer we cut off the very bottom of the iceberg is acceptance. We need to fully accept that all of a person's actions are always our own fault, always our own responsibility.

Every action I take, every action I don’t take, every word out of my mouth, every thought that comes into my mind, everything and anything that has happened to me in my life is my responsibility, I'm ultimately responsible to do something about it.

I don’t use the word ALL lightly. When I write the word ALL I am not referring to the world's definition. Even though something happens only two thirds of the time, the world responds as if it is happening all the time, they respond in an over-exaggeration. I am referring to the biblical definition of the word ALL meaning, everything, all things, not excluding anything.

Taking Full Responsibility for all my actions, thoughts, works, words, deeds, everything that happened to me by my own doing, and everything that was not by my own doing. Everything, 100% good or bad, right or wrong, it's my fault, it's my responsibility.

It's a hard pill to swallow, however, if you can swallow this pill, the symptoms will start to fade away.

To be continued.


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