Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Blame Versus Intent

If we have derived any portion of an identity apart from the true knowledge of God the Father’s love, it is an accident looking for a place to happen. I cannot escape the grip of His total and consuming love for me, drawing me ever deeper into the true knowledge of “Whose I am,” which gives definition to who I actually am.

The truth is an amazingly sharp and penetrating liberator as it is being applied to the lies that have shaped me into someone, something that has no resemblance to what He has purposed me to be – which is to be 100% His. It continues to be the truth of His love for me that is unraveling the grave clothes that have kept me bound in fear, long after He apprehended me. It is this love that empowers me to embrace this skilled heart surgeon to finish extracting me from all and everything that has blinded me from a true view of my God and Father. It’s our view of Him that defines our lives!

My wife was sharing with me this morning something she overheard on the Dr. Phil show, a program she rarely watches - but that morning she heard Father speaking through Dr. Phil. The following exchange is in many ways similar to my own my story, including the money issue.

Background information: the guest on Dr. Phil was an accountant who had lost his entire life savings in the Bernie Madoff Ponzi scheme:
The accountant told Dr. Phil that his hatred of Bernie Madoff now consumes him, all day, every day, particularly since Madoff continues to live in his $10 million dollar apartment awaiting his court date, while the accountant and his wife were ruined financially. Dr. Phil replied:
"Have you forgiven yourself? Because the only thing worse than this guy stealing your money is him stealing your life...and if he can steal your life he can steal your spirit."
When the accountant said he blamed himself for what happened (because as an accountant he should have known better and he should have seen it coming), Dr. Phil said:
"There's a huge difference between blame and responsibility. Blame implies intent. You don't have blame without intent."
He went on to ask the accountant whether by investing with Madoff he had intended to lose his life’s savings by getting caught up in a colossal fraud.
The accountant replied no - his intent had been to increase his savings so he and his wife could retire comfortably. At the time he thought he was doing the right thing. Dr. Phil told him therefore he was not to blame for what had happened because his original intent had been good. The responsibility, and ultimately the blame for what happened was Madoff's, not the accountant's.

How is this story similar to mine? Well, shortly after being gloriously born again I felt the ‘call’ of the ministry. Dozens of others agreed in the ensuing years. I lost count of the number of ‘prophetic’ words that were spoken over me. I really did believe that being in the ministry was God’s plan for my life. I ended up achieving that status, only to see it all crumble before my eyes. I was not only out of a job, but my family suffered greatly in many ways – not the least of which was financially. We lost everything we owned and were left essentially homeless for a while.

This all surfaced last weekend when I told my wife how I held a lot of anger against people who had money to burn. Then I had a nightmare in which I was accused over and over about how I had ruined my family and hadn’t even provided for them financially.

It was in hearing this story of the accountant and his life being sucked out of him and what Dr. Phil shared with him that spoke such life, hope and freedom for me with regard to so much self imposed blame and irresponsibility that I had taken ownership of.
As this eye opening insight washed over me, I went about my day seeking His further objectivity on so much I seem so blind to, knowing that it is only in His light that I will continue to be set, made free.



pagehamilton said...

Rick - wow, thanks for the honesty. So refreshing. In my own trek, I've seen God redeem the years lost, and bless me with work according to Eccl 5:18-20, especially "He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart." (radical switch, took time) Didn't realize this was one of the gifts of God. And this when I was clueless and had no idea what to do with about a "career". Had brief times in "the ministry." Thanks again - praying with faith about God's gifts for you.

Free Spirit said...

Lovin' what Papa teaches you, because it's so relevant, and 'spot on' for so many of us.

You're last statement,
"... knowing that it is only in His light that I will continue to be set, made free."
scares the hell out me, cause in that light ALL things are seen... and some of that just makes me cringe.

But I know that's it's ONLY there that the freedom is.

Rich said...


Thanks for sharing your encouraging thoughts, I so appreciate them.

I am discovering what is really real only as a result of Him making known to me Whose I am, and who I am.

Rich said...

Free Spirit,

I liked very much what you said here.

"You're last statement,
"... knowing that it is only in His light that I will continue to be set, made free."
scares the hell out me, cause in that light ALL things are seen... and some of that just makes me cringe."

If you have listened to the last pod cast by Wayne and Brad, they touched on somthing that has been increasingly made so real in my life with Father.

Without the sure, secure foundation of knowing Whose we are, being rooted and established in the unwavering, unchanging absolute total unconditional love of our Father, we will not be able to embrace the much further needed and on going chastening, correction, training, equiping we are in need of.

For most of us, our faulty sin stained perception is that His present chastening/correction is in fact, "rejection" of us, and as long as that is our view, we will run from His ultimate intention of moving us from merely being his child, to becoming a "fully mature son/daughter!"