It's easy to pass the blame. It's easy to ruminate about how those around you don't treat you the way you think they should. If you're not careful, your subconscious can start playing the victim card whenever you have an unfortunate happening. You start automatically placing blame by asking yourself, "Why don't they love the way they should? Why is no one showing up to support me when I need them?" These are valid feelings that we all share at some point, however bitterness can creep in when we fail to look at what we can do to solve the problem and instead place blame on other people’s shortcomings.
I had a blog post before Christmas about being the best guest (read it here). I loved this post because it represented a time when God refined an area of my life where I wasn’t reflecting him well. I realized that I played the victim card. A lot. I thought I was perfect, and loved everyone so much and so well, and people just didn't treat me as well as I thought I deserved. When I started *replacing* the blame with "what can I do better or differently to make this go well," the results were exciting!!If you are tempted to play the blame card, just stop! Replace that thought with, "This doesn’t make me happy, but what can I do better? How can I be a better friend, listener, or be less judgmental? Who can I smile at first, ask to coffee first, offer a lending hand first?" YES, YES, YES!!! This is freedom. This is love. True love doesn't wait, doesn't display a record of wrongs, and doesn't hold back.
I hope today is your first day to look inside your heart to see how you can give and love in fruitful ways that will, in turn, refresh your spirit with exciting opportunities and better friendships than you thought possible.
Further Reading: here are some passages that inspired this message.
1 corinthians 13: "1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.8 Love never fails.
Proverbs 11:25: "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed."