“And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.” (Genesis 16:5–6, ESV)
May the wrong done to me be on you! Two wrongs don’t make a right, do they? Yet, it seems like when we make a big mistake, we feel the need to vent. Often, we simply throw up on someone else. Many times that is someone who didn’t deserve our eruption.
Our shame and guilt seems to explode all over others instead of being poured out at the foot of the Throne in heartfelt repentance. Guilt won’t be erased apart from confession. As it grows in the soul, it gives birth to bitterness. Left unchecked, this deadly cancer consumes our hearts and souls and leaves us alone and longing to die.
In just a short time we can see the effects of this misplaced remorse on Sarai’s part. She lashes out at Abraham. Yes, he failed to lead as a husband and chose the path of least resistance. Yes, if he had stood his ground in faith the debris of doubt would not have led him to Hagar’s bed. But, now, acting upon her own suggestion, Sarai can but turn the blame upon her husband to try to mitigate some of her anger at herself for such a faithless, stupid decision.
Do you know the pain of foolishness? Are you aching for your actions? Have you chosen to blame others instead of humbling yourself before the only One who can actually do something about your situation? Will you stop running away from God and start running towards Him.
His promise is unquestionably the best offer we can ever receive: “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8, ESV) And, when you come, be sure to come clean. Spill it all, your doubt, your faithlessness, your distrust, and your impatience. Lay it all at the feet of Jesus. He is ready to forgive and work with us through the damage we have done.
Will you let Him in and have full control of the mess you’ve made? He’ll take the broken pieces and make something beautiful from them.
Turn-Around Tuesdays are designed to bring hope and help, insight and encouragement to those of us who are simply overwhelmed by the flood of problems life throws at us. No one is immune to trials and troubles, but God has a way of lifting us from life’s torrents. Each short thought is written by Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, and comes from his life-journey with the God who never leaves us or forsakes us. He welcomes your comments below.