A couple of days ago I got a flat tire on the way home from dropping the kids off at school. “Great,” I thought, “here I was in such a good mood, and feeling ambitious to get a lot done today. Satan is trying to rob my joy!” Irritated, I began digging through the back of the car for the jack and the tire iron, and as I did so, the jack fell off of the bumper onto my foot, causing me to shout in pain. I was off to a good start! When I dropped the spare tire, I discovered that it was flat, adding fuel to my frustration. My anger was brought to a full boil when I tried to loosen the lug nuts on the wheel and found that the stock tire iron does not fit my custom rims. I would need a special ratchet.
So there I was on the side of the road, mad as a hornet that the devil was thwarting me and ruining my life, looking through the Internet for a mobile tire service. Guess what? No tire shops in Honolulu have a mobile tire service truck. They all suggested I get a tow into their shop. Yeah right! That’s another two hours of wasted time, not to mention at least $200 for the ride.
I had to laugh at myself. Within 10 minutes, I went from singing praise music to the Lord over the stereo, looking forward to the rest of my day, to fuming hot mad because of some unexpected circumstance, and I was lashing out in anger blaming the devil, the stupid people who built my ford, the idiots who designed the curb I had hit, the inept tire shops of Hawaii for not having mobile tire service, and the dummies who made custom wheels that can’t be removed.
I think all too often, we give satan more credit than he deserves. Much of the time, our circumstances aren’t his doing at all. We are just big babies who want everything perfect all the time. And instead of placing blame where it belongs, it’s much easier to blameshift and accuse someone else.
Who’s fault was my situation, really? Let’s think. I was the one who wasn’t paying attention and took too tight of a turn, resulting in my tire smashing the curb. I was the one who placed a clumsy tire jack in a precarious place before it fell onto my foot. The spare tire was flat because it’s a 13 year old vehicle and I have never taken the time to properly maintain it. The tire iron didn’t fit the lug nuts because I prefer custom wheels and never bothered to buy the right ratchets in case of a flat. The truth is, if there was anyone to be angry at, it’s me!
Christians love to blame the devil, and nonChrisitans love to blame God. Sometimes even Christians shake their fist at the heavens, wondering why? A wise king gave us the truth of it in Proverbs 19:3, “A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the LORD.”
Before accusing God or blaming the devil as the source of your problems, maybe sometimes you should look in the mirror.
It’s a lot easier to deal with life with a bit of honest humility than it is if we are always angry with our circumstances. Your attitude towards many of your struggles will change dramatically when you realize they are your own doing!
I know I certainly gave myself a lot more grace than I was giving to everyone I was accusing in my mind the other day. I laughed at myself, while moments earlier I was raging at everyone else. It’s a lot easier to pray for grace, for forgiveness, and for strength than it is to act as though we are being treated unfairly, unjustly, or demanding that our problems evaporate.
What situations in your life are you frustrated with, that in actuality can be traced back to decisions that you made?