They Did That On Purpose

The insurance agent was writing a policy for a cowboy. "Have you ever had any accidents?" the agent asked. "No, not really," replied the cowboy. "A horse kicked in a few of my ribs once. I got bit a couple of times by a rattlesnake, but that's about it." "Don't you call those accidents?" demanded the agent. "Oh, no," came the answer, "they did that on purpose."

It is easy to blame someone else for our problems or short-sidedness. Even when we are guilty of committing the wrong, we simply dismiss it as a mistake or accident. Viewing sin sometimes can be more like an "OOP's" or a "goof." The whole idea is to lessen the impact of sin and to blame someone or something for it. Adam, after he had eaten the forbidden fruit and stood face to face with God for his sin said, "The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate." (Genesis 3:12) He blamed the woman (whom God had given to him - he seemed to be putting the blame on God too) for causing him to sin.

The real truth was that Adam was responsible for what Adam did - not Eve, nor God nor even Satan. When the final analysis is given, Adam stood alone with his guilt. Who could he blame? Even Eve could not blame Satan for Satan only tempted her - he did not force her.

When a child is caught with a cookie from the cookie jar - who does he blame? Maybe his sister, his brother, the dog, the cat or even the cookie will be blamed. But who put the hand in the cookie jar and took out the forbidden cookie - the child did. We try to teach this to our children. We must learn the harder lesson about sin. Sin is a transgression of the law of God, "Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness." (1 John 3:4)

When we stand before God in judgment, we will have no one to answer for our lives but ourselves. With all the nations of the earth gathered and the legions upon legions of souls past presenting themselves before the Holy God, we will stand alone.

The good or the evil that we stand before God with will be only our own. "For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then EACH OF US shall give account of HIMSELF to God." (Romans 14:11) "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad." (2 Corinthians 5:10) The key in these passages is to realize that we must receive the rewards of our lives based upon what we do - not what someone else does or expects us to do.

Who can we blame? When David was approached by Nathan in 2 Samuel 12, David realized that he bore the full responsibility for what had happened. He did not try to blame Bathsheba, God, Uriah or the pressures of being a king. He said in verse 13, "I have sinned against the Lord." David said, "I" and accepted responsibility. It was no accident - what he had done he had done with purpose and he confessed his sin.

Christ died to take away our sins. He died that we may be whole. When we confess our sins and recognize that we are responsible for our lives - then truly can we come to the Cross and seek forgiveness. "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12) is the admonition for us to serve a God who has done so much for us by sending His Son - we must do our part.

By Kent E. Heaton Sr.

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