It’s Not You, It’s Me
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
In the disastrous consequences of my drug addiction, I felt tremendous shame and embarrassment. There were times when it would have been easy to blame others for my discomfort. If they weren’t so judgmental, I wouldn’t feel this way. When my name was in the newspaper, it was tempting to hate those who published the paper. Those people are horrible, making their living off my fall from grace. Perhaps some people were judgmental, but the reality was, no one was responsible for my situation except for me. I couldn’t change anyone else, but I could seek change in my own life, which was really the only helpful solution to my condition. As long as I blamed everyone else, I wasn’t going to find recovery.
Still, even in recovery now, it remains easy to point the finger at others. When I read a Bible passage, I often think of ten people who need to read it. I know some folks who need to hear this. I should probably write about them. If I’m using the Bible as a weapon only to point at others though, then I’m reading it wrong.
In today’s passage, the author of Hebrews stated that the word of God is like a living sword that cuts through flesh and bone to reach our thoughts, feelings, and motivations. If we’ll allow it, this sword of God will pierce our facade, exposing and then excising our self-destructive nature. Often though, we don’t want that. Transformation is painful. We’d rather that the sword be pointed at others. So, when we read God’s convicting words, we think of everyone but ourselves. I know some people who need to read this.
It can be easy and comforting to blame others for all the struggle and conflict in our lives. I’m being treated unfairly. Everyone is out to get me. I don’t deserve this. There are certainly times when life is unfair, but usually, we are our own worst enemies. Until we realize that we are our greatest life problem, we’ll be able to do nothing to fix anything. We can’t fix others. The only one we can change is ourselves. So, when we read God’s word, we must first point it at our own lives. If we point God’s word only at others, then we’re reading it wrong.