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Summary: From Ezekiel’s prophecy to the people the Bible teaches us to: Stop the Blame Game and Accept Appropriate Responsibility for our Life.

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WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS?

February 26, 2006 Jay Davis Robison Ezekiel 18:1-4, 30-32

Presidential Advice lame duck Pres met successor Oval office

in transition near end presented incoming leader 3 numbered envelopes told open them in order when great difficulties

After new Pres had “honeymoon” period w\media & public, US experienced economic downturn. opened 1st envelope. Inside a card read: “Blame me.” So criticized former admin

Then social upheaval brought about a critical domestic crisis. Pres opened #2 envelope. Inside card “Blame my party”

He did so, in an overt display of partisan politics.

A year later, when foreign policy resulted in serious problems at end of rope President opened the third envelope.

Inside, the card read: “Prepare three envelopes.”

Only blame so long before you become responsible

Our society wants to avoid responsibility as long as we can

John Leo U.S. News\World Report: "We are in an era of the abuse excuse, ie victimology - claiming to be a victim so you are not responsible for your actions

So easy to find someone else at fault in Ezekiel’s day did so God’s people in captivity believed being punished unjustly. They were saying, “The way of the Lord is not right”

What’s going on our suffering not our fault

Refused to own up to their sins and responsibilities

We live in a society where racism, classism, sexism,

and other bad isms exist can feel we only victims

Like an attorney looking at various parts of the argument

1. Stop PLAYING THE BLAME GAME

We are all touched by the hand of the past,

no one is the master of his or her fate.

You didn’t ask to be born to who you were born to

We come into world under circumstances we did not create.

Familiar saying going around in OT

Vs 2 NCV The parents have eaten sour grapes, and that caused the children to grind their teeth from the sour taste’

Popular proverb taught what ancestors have done effected us

Involves subtle shifting of responsibility for present disaster, no hope I’m victim of parent’s sins

Now to be honest Ex 20:5, 34:7 Jer 31:28 say the sin of fathers will be visited on the children to 3rd 4th generations

Certainly every parent knows our decisions effect our kids

Why being a parent is so frightening

Scripture appears to be complaint about God’s unfairness.

Our parents sinned, so why should we suffer?

Israelites took comfort in proverb because got them off hook.

Note: Evil actions of others EFFECT us but do not JUDGE US God holds us responsible for our actions not actions of others Each generation has opportunity to avoid mistakes of parents Judgment is not a steam roller with no one at the wheel Is Hope God is driving always willing to put on the brake

Who do you blame? For your life

GENETICS, I can’t do this or that because of genes

FAMILY, grew up in dysfunctional family can’t do better

GOVERNMENT, all know how lives worse cause of Wash

SCHOOLS teacher didn’t teach me

Or GOD man said I prayed to stop smoking, and God didn’t take the desire away. He didn’t take away my desire to gamble, & he hasn’t brought back my wife. Religion doesn’t work."

When we play the blame game

Attempt to exempt me excuse me justify me

Try to hide our lives

Listen Vs 19 N The person who sins is the one who will die. God won’t play the blame game with us We are effected but not determined by others

Consider the costs of BLAMING

PUSHES PEOPLE AWAY don’t you just love it when someone nags and blames you isn’t that uplifting? NO

HARMS A MARRIAGE if you are blaming your spouse

For your unhappiness, hurt etc. no help for marriage

BREEDS ARROGANCE excuses self, I’d get along

if it weren’t for . . reality is I’d screw life up alone

Add PUSHES GOD AWAY can’t deal with is

Wayne Dyer said All blame is a waste of time.

No matter how much fault we find with another, regardless of how much we blame someone, it will not change us.

The only thing blaming someone does is to keep the focus off of us while we look for external reasons to explain our unhappiness or frustration. We may succeed in making another feel guilty about something by blaming them, but we won’t succeed in changing and moving away f rom the sin that is making us unhappy. “Your erroneous zones”

2. Accept PROPER RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE

Each person is a part of society and each person stands alone

You are unique no one exactly like you

Liberty means responsibility that’s why most people avoid it

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