The fault in me
In Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, Cassius laments the rise of Caesar and declares:
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…
If you will pardon a minor paraphrase, I confess:
The fault, dear friends, is not in our stars, but in ourselves…
and more to the point, in ME.
Like Cassius, I lament what is happening in my land. I am distressed by events and sentiments that pervade our country. I recognize a tendency to find fault in the stars, but by “stars” I mean not “fate” but rather, our leaders, celebrities, the rich, famous, powerful…OUR STARS!
It is SO easy to blame THEM.
But the Holy Spirit convicted me that blaming others is neither right nor effectual. What is MY responsibility; what have I done, or failed to do, that resulted in this state we are in?
1 Timothy 2:1-3 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior
God forgive me; I have not done this. The fault is in me. Oh, I pray now and then for “our leaders” or for President Trump, but if I am honest, I don’t even know the names of my Senators, my Representative, my Governor, my State Legislators. Well, I do now, and I renew a commitment to pray for them regularly by name. I will entreat the LORD to grant them wisdom; I will pray he will give them a hunger for righteousness, and though this will be difficult with some, I will give thanks for them.
2 Chronicles 7:14-15and if My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
This verse was given to King Solomon upon completion of The Temple. It is not explicitly given to Christians or the New Testament Church, but I believe the application is valid. It clearly implies there will be days when the land needs healing, and I believe we live in such a day. I profess to be one of God’s people, hence if I want him to heal my land, the first step is to humble myself.
God forgive me for my lack of humility.
I have confessed my lack of prayer already, but this is more than just prayer for my leaders, so again God forgive me; the fault is in me.
I must seek his face, but I am busy making money, and enjoying family, and my books – all honorable endeavors, but how often do I seek his face? God forgive me.
But there’s more. This verse does not say, if I humble myself and pray and seek his face that he will turn my rulers from their wicked ways. It says GOD’S PEOPLE must turn from THEIR wicked ways.
God forgive me for my wicked ways, for my apathy, my critical spirit, my pride, my hypocrisy, my humanism, my materialism, my hedonism.
Dear God, hear from Heaven and forgive MY sin for the fault is in ME, and heal my land.
Nowhere does God say: if My people will hurl insults at their rulers, and will mock their celebrities, and will forward social media memes, and will constantly complain… Nowhere!
He does say…
Romans 12:18 – If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
God forgive me, and help me to exhibit faith, hope, and love rather than dismay, disgust, and despair.
Proverbs 21:1 The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;
He turns it wherever He wishes.
I find great comfort in this. None of what befalls us is outside the providence of God. The healing of our land does not depend upon the ungodly changing their ways – it depends entirely upon God, and he placed the responsibility on HIS PEOPLE to be humble, to pray, to seek him, and to repent.
I read not long ago the one commandment Jesus repeated more than any other was…Fear not. Hallelujah and Amen! He said it in a few different ways of course: fear not, do not be afraid, be at peace, let not your heart be troubled, and I’d like to focus on that last one…let not your heart be troubled. It is NOT God’s will that Christians be constantly agitated…it simply is not. If that is the testimony I have to offer the world…it isn’t much to offer.
God forgive me, and teach me to be light and salt to a dark and dying world.
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.