Do you know people who do wrong all the time and are never sorry for it? I do. I’m around people like that all the time, and it frustrates me. I believe in an absolute right and an absolute wrong. I’m not capable of doing right all the time, but I want to at least try to be the kind of person who tries to do right. And when I do wrong, I want to own up to it. I want to take responsibility for what I’ve done wrong and do my best to change.
But there are always people who do wrong constantly and have no intention to change. Why should they? Doing what is wrong is so much easier than doing what is right. Maybe it has consequences, but they don’t come right away. And even if they do come, it’s a lot easier to convince other people that you’re the victim in the situation than it is to claim responsibility for it.
Granted there are many circumstances where people truly are victims. We live in a broken world, and it’s the innocent who suffer the consequences for the most part. But I still believe the vast majority of us make our own problems. I really believe that most of us (including myself) end up in rough situations because of our actions, because of our choices, and it comes down to either taking responsibility for what you’ve done or trying to push that responsibility off onto someone else.
When you know someone is shifting the blame from where it really belongs, how does that make you feel? Angry? Frustrated? Well, think about how you feel, and then think about how it makes God feel.
Today’s verses are Psalms 7:11-13.
God is an honest judge. He is angry with the wicked every day. If a person does not repent, God will sharpen his sword; he will bend and string his bow. He will prepare his deadly weapons and shoot his flaming arrows.
We live in a kinder, gentler era now. We don’t like to think of God as an angry God. We much prefer to focus on His love, and that is true. God is a God of love. He is love.
But how many of us really understand love? And if we can’t even understand love, can’t we hope to understand God? Does anyone understand God? I mean, I believe we can understand His heart. I believe we can understand what He’s telling us to do and how He’s telling us to live. But those are just a fraction of who God is. Saying we understand God because we read the Bible or because we pray is like saying we’ve experience the ocean when we’ve only visited the Gulf of Mexico.
Is it all right for you to be angry with someone who is doing wrong and refuses to change? If it’s all right for you, why is it not all right for God?
Repent is a scary church word. It basically just means to change your thinking. If you repent from your sin, it means you change the way you think about doing what God says is wrong. That’s what repent means. It’s not a stained glass, organ music kind of concept. It’s something we can’t do without.
What’s frustrating about people who won’t repent is that they pretty much live a life that’s flipping God off every day. I’m not talking about the people who don’t know better; I’m talking about people who know what the Bible says and who have chosen not to believe it. I’m talking about people who say they follow Christ but deny Him with their lives every day. I’m talking about typical American Christians who go to church on Sunday and live the rest of their week as though they are the center of the universe.
It’s frustrating. Because they know better, and they’ve chosen to ignore God in spite of it.
Does it frustrate you? Well, it frustrates God. And the plain and simple truth is that none of us can thumb our noses at God and expect to get away with it. He will do what is necessary to show us that we aren’t in control of our lives, and it won’t be pleasant. None of us are unbreakable.
So the next time you feel the urge to do something you know the Bible says is wrong, take a moment to think about how God is going to feel about it. I’m not saying we should cower in the corner because we live our lives based on whether God is angry or not. I’m not saying that at all. But God has given us everything so that we can be free. God has made the ultimate sacrifice, and He’s been patient with us through circumstances where everyone else would have given up on us. And if you can think about all God has done for you and how much He loves you and still be callous enough to go on sinning even though you know what that sin cost Christ, God has every right to be angry.
Repent. Change the way you think about doing what God has said is wrong. It’s worth it. You won’t fear consequences, you won’t face guilt, and God will honor you for doing what is right.