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.