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Owning Up

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Being empty nesters has some wonderful advantages, but a few disappointments I hadn’t considered. One of the things that has changed is the ability to blame. For example, if the refrigerator door is left open or the last ice cube taken—it was probably me. And I’m the one who left less than a serving in the bottom of the cereal box.  The clearest example came, however, when I realized I had forgotten to replace the empty roll of toilet paper. I had no one to blame but myself.

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Instinctively, right before I dug in the cupboard to retrieve a new roll, I raised my hand. Do you remember how we used to do that when we played on the basketball courts of our childhoods? When we committed a foul we would raise our hand signifying taking responsibility for the transgression: “I did it. It’s on me.”

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The same thing used to happen in professional sports. Not so much anymore. No, nowadays more often than not, when a foul is called by the referee the players go into some display of blaming others—even in the most obvious and flagrant of cases. Bottom line: people don’t accept responsibility.

This caused me to pause and reflect for a bit on the areas of my life where I have preferred to blame-shift spiritually. Over the years it’s been “easy” to point the finger at my parents or the fact we moved so often, and many other things. Enough already! I need to “man up” and accept responsibility for my own choices.

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That’s what confession is. Confession is raising my hand in the sight of God and owning that what he has identified as sin, as foul, in my life is true. I’m thankful when we do that, the Word promises: he is faithful and just and will forgive us of all our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). That should free us from looking to blame and enable us to live more honestly!

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