Tú tienes la culpa!

Gloria and I used to be part of her uncle's church in McAllen.  This was early on in our marriage, before I ended up preaching.  I have one memory from those years that bounces in my mind every so often.  It was a Sunday evening service.  I know that shocks many of my UM peeps, but this was a Nazarene church.  Hey, Nazarenes and UMs are cousins.  Maybe an occasional evening service is just what your UM church is missing.

I digress.  Gloria's uncle repeated a phrase several times throughout his sermon that night.  He would announce: Tú tienes la culpa!  Tú tienes la culpa!  That roughly translates to: It's your fault. 

Oh, we love that line, don't we?  It is so easy to use, and often feels so rewarding afterwards.  And, let's be honest, blaming others is a good way to never be wrong, even if you are.  Let me be of some help: Use it sparingly.  What happens if you are wrong, and it is not their fault?  What if it is your fault?  What if it is not anyone's fault?

Changing our minds or admitting we are wrong can be very difficult.   At least that is what others tell me.  Just ask this woman who cannot be wrong (I do not know anything about her; so, do not think I am favoring any party or political position because you would be wrong!):

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I think of Peter's dream a lot.  He was convinced that what he knew to be true was indeed the truth.  No question.  His version of his faith meant that Gentiles were to be a separate people.  There was no way God could accept Gentiles without merit, and with all their filthy eating habits.  But dancing sheets got the best of Peter.  It is at this moment you know if you have read the story or not.  Peter realized he was wrong.  And the best part is that others benefited from him doing so.  It is a great story of being willing to hold the blame and allow God to speak truth in love to our hearts.

Church leaders and pew sitters alike could stand to learn this a little better.  So many of us are convinced we are right, and that the other side is to be blamed.  They might say, "Tú tienes la culpa!"  That gets tired and nowhere at the same time.  Perhaps some of our prayers should be, "Lord, show us what it is you want."  You see we often tend to get in the way of God's work.  We might be well-intentioned, but there is someplace that is paved with good intentions, or so I have heard.  Maybe for a little while we could stand to ask God to change our heart instead of the one at the end of our finger.  

What say you, finger pointers of the world?  How has God changed your heart about things?  When have you gone from the blame game to the I am a dork and I am sorry about that game?

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