In the book of Genesis, God tells us that our lives will be filled with hard work and troubles, so we shouldn’t be surprised when we see this verse in the book of James. We’ve all experienced troubles, but today I want to focus on where—or upon whom—we place the blame for our troubles.
Trust me when I say this: I find it incredibly easy to get to a place of self-righteousness. I can easily lose sight of where I lack competency or understanding and get frustrated when others don’t seem to do their job as well as I think I’m doing mine. However, when we get to a place of putting our trust in ourselves and our own abilities, we end up having a distorted view of ourselves. This distorted view of self leads us to accuse others for our own shortcomings and failures. However, Jesus calls us to trust in His righteousness and take ownership of our sinful behavior.
It’s much easier to place the blame on others and complain that nothing changes or ever gets done. Some of us blame our spouses, bosses, friends, or coworkers for things that we need to take ownership of. We can either choose to place the blame on everyone else for the troubles we face, or we can accept our part and face the troubles with as much joy as we can manage. Ultimately, God can use our troubles to help us grow in faith and get to a place where we are lacking nothing.
As C.S. Lewis puts it, “If tribulation is a necessary element in redemption, we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or no further redeemable.”
Is there anything in your life that you need to own and take responsibility for? Is there any area of your life you need to quit complaining about and start facing with joy? If so, pray and ask for God’s help in that.