OBSESSED WITH MYSELF
Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me stink to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Genesis 24:30
What is my reaction when someone’s sin affects my wellbeing? Am I angry because I’ve been hurt or am I angry because the God I love has been wounded by their sin? Is their transgression a spiritual issue to me? Not if I’m obsessed with myself.
Children can be little more than a means for my own public acceptance. I dress them up cute, I teach them manners, I encourage them to do well in school, I help them recite Bible verses, and if I’m honest, it’s not as much for them as it is to make me look good as a parent. I use my children. And when they fail publicly, my first painful reaction is personal disgrace. Jacob’s initial response is self-centered. He did not lament that his children had sinned against God. He said, “You have brought trouble on me!” This whole chapter is a deviation from God-centeredness. All the pronouns are “I” and “me.” God is hardly mentioned at all.
I’m reviewing some of the biggest hurts of my life. I forgave each person who offended me but how did I respond initially to the offense? Was I sad because that person sinned against God first? Was I concerned for their spiritual well-being?
When someone in our family makes us look bad, the last thing we should consider in the big scheme of things is our reputation. If we really love them, our obsession should be their relationship with God. How has their sin corrupted it? Will they get past the breach in their relationship with Him to resume their spiritual journey? Of all matters, this takes priority.
When my reputation is more important than the spiritual ramifications of another’s sin, I need to look in the mirror. My heart is also in a precarious place.
Show me how deeply You are hurt by the sin of Your children. Amen