QUIT FINGER-POINTING AND ACT
By DANNY MINTON
When I was five years old, our garage almost caught on fire because of a burning mattress. Someone was playing with matches, throwing them behind the old mattress when it suddenly caught on fire. My brother, who was three years old, and I were sat down and interrogated by my dad. “Who started the fire?” “Gary did,” I boldly spoke up. Now, that accusation would probably have worked several years down the road, but not this time. He was three and in the house. I was five and outside. I tried to pass the blame but failed and received my just punishment.
“Finger pointing” goes as far back as Adam, Eve, and Cain. From that time on, man has always looked for someone to blame when things go wrong. It seems that people still want to pin the bad things that happen on someone before ever trying to solve the issue at hand.
The pandemic, where did it start? Who started it? At first, it began with spoiled seafood in the capital of the Hubei province, Wuhan, China. Then things began to escalate, and blame and finger-pointing have come rampant. China had a virus accidentally escape from a lab and knew about it months before telling the world. The Democrats were behind it, hoping the pandemic would ruin Trump’s chance of re-election. Trump knew about it months before taking action to have a more substantial blame against China. Recently Bill Gates and his foundation have been blamed for their vaccine to sell. States are blamed for moving too fast to recover. States are blamed for moving too slow to recover. Everyone is pointing fingers at each other, and in many cases, the pandemic has caused panic.
And of course, God has been blamed. He is said to have caused the pandemic to get the world to turn back to Him. This is the same argument that was used in 2001 when the Twin Towers faced attack. However, although God worked this way during the Old Testament times, I believe that stopped when he sent the final solution to get people to change, Jesus Christ. Events like the Twin Towers and pandemic do get people to think about their mortality, but God doesn’t kill innocent people today to get His will done. Jesus came to save the world not to condemn it. God is a God of love. The bad things that happen in this world are more a result of what mankind does wrong than God being the cause. “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:17 (NASB)
Man’s problem centers on placing so much emphasis on who is to blame that we fail to spend vital time looking for solutions. If we can find someone to blame that “takes the monkey off our back” and puts the focus in other areas. Precious time becomes wasted that should be used to move forward not only in establishing a solution but caring for what needs should be faced along the way.
Someone is hungry. What do we do? Do we question why they are hungry? Do we first analyze how they got into this situation or try and determine who is a fault for their being hungry? Do we blame them or someone else for their hunger? Maybe the first thing we should do is feed them and consider all the other stuff later.
Someone is cold. What do we do? Do we question why they are cold? Do we first analyze how they got themselves into this situation or try to determine who is at fault for their being cold? Do we blame them or someone else for their being cold? Maybe the first thing we should do is give them a blanket and consider all the other stuff later.
One of my favorite stories of Jesus is the story of the blind man in John 9. It starts with Jesus’ disciples wanting to know who is to blame for the man being blind, his parents, or him. Later Jesus is condemned for healing him on the Sabbath. The friends wonder how he can see. His parents are scared to give an answer and pass the reasoning on to him. Jesus? He saw a blind man who wanted to see and healed him.
There will always be time to look at the cause of things. There will be time to debate the cause. There will be a time that we can discuss how to prevent causes in the future. There will be a time to find out who is ultimately to blame, but that time is not in the middle of a need.
If someone is hungry, feed them. Don’t ask how they came to be hungry. If they are thirsty, give them a drink of water. If they are cold, give them something to wear. When someone is hungry, thirsty, cold, or homeless, they aren’t concerned with blaming someone else; they just want their immediate needs met.
“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:34-40 (NASB)
Let’s quit looking for someone to blame for now and just help those in need. After all, that’s what Jesus would do.
Danny Minton is Pastoral Minister and Elder at Southern Hills Church of Christ