Remember the days when, if you needed a medical specialist, you could go to your family doctor and ask for a reference? Not a referral of someone in the HMO Group, but someone who that doctor thought would be good for you.
Remember when you could call a former employer about someone who is seeking to work for you and they would tell you the truth about that person? In fact, they would talk to you and not send you to an HR robot who would tell you the dates the person worked for them and nothing more.
Remember when people used to feel responsible for what they did or said to others?
Deuteronomy 24:16– Parents are not to be put to death for their children, nor children put to death for their parents; each will die for their own sin.
Ezekiel 18:20– The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child.
Galatians 6:4-5– Each one should test his own work. Then he will have reason to boast in himself alone, and not in someone else. For each one should carry his own load.
The bible tells us that when we come before God we will be held accountable for what we have done in our lives. It won’t be like an American courtroom, where we can claim that the malpractice we suffered is not just the fault of the doctor who worked on us, but can also be blamed on the doctor that told us to go to him. We won’t be able to sue someone for telling a prospective employer (who turned us down) we were fired for having stolen from the company. We won’t get a multi-million dollar payout from the manufacturer of a lightening rod for not telling us we shouldn’t install it in the middle of a thunderstorm.
We won’t be able to blame Satan for suggesting we worship him instead of God when we apostatize.
The world is all about being a victim, and it doesn’t matter who did what to whom: all that matters is that you are the first one to complain. The one who makes a stink about something and claims to have been hurt, or abused, or made to feel uncomfortable, is the one who wins. The accused is immediately considered guilty. I mean, why not? After all, when I told this person they didn’t do a good job and they need to do better in the future, I caused them great suffering and mental anguish: what if they can’t do better? What if they are fired and lose their home? They can’t sleep, they can’t eat, their ulcers are acting up and now they have a cavity in their tooth! It’s all my fault!
Uh…wait a minute. Didn’t they fail to perform their job as they were instructed? Didn’t they refuse to work at getting better? Didn’t they have anything at all to do with their own actions?
Not in today’s world they didn’t.
Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples that they should love each other because that is how people will know they are His disciples. The Torah was given to us (all of us) to separate us from the pagan practices of the ancient world, so that society could look at God’s people and see how wise, thoughtful and compassionate they are towards each other and from that example learn to be better, themselves.
Everything about being a person who fears the Lord has to do with becoming more holy, more separated from the world, and (thereby) a monument to the wonder and awesomeness of God. We are to be examples for others to follow.
One way to be an example is to be responsible for yourself. Take onus for what you do and say, accept responsibility for your actions and don’t throw Red Herrings and smokescreens up when you do something wrong. And when someone accuses you of wrongdoing, if you are innocent, stand up for yourself and fight for righteousness.
I once was accused of something and stood up for myself. I took a senior executive of the company to his boss and filed a complaint against him for wrongly accusing me and not following corporate procedures. I won that battle, and lost the war. When my evaluation came up, my immediate supervisor gave me a 3.5 out of 5 score, which was supported by many people writing how much they appreciated me and enjoyed working with me. His boss, the one I complained about, reduced that to a 2.0: his justification was that I usually did a good job but usually isn’t good enough.
Can you believe that? A CIO, a senior executive of a company, wrote that; and, what is worse, is that the HR Director never even reviewed it! Where I come from, when someone gets an unsat evaluation, it has to be justified with documentation and must be reviewed by HR.
The point is not that I was mistreated (which led to me getting a better job with 150% pay raise, so God always takes care of those who love Him) but that when we stand up for ourselves the world may come down on us. So what? We still must do the right thing. In this case, I did not allow myself to be a victim by standing up for what was right. When people accuse us of being wrong we need to stand up for Godly righteousness.
And when we are in the wrong, when we have done or said something that has been harmful or incorrect, we need to be just as willing to accept blame for it. That is also something that will separate us from the world, and demonstrate that one can be “holy” and still make mistakes. Being holy doesn’t mean we are any better or any more efficient, it just means we are separated, that we are different (in a good way) from everyone else.
And, in today’s world, to accept blame for what you do or say is certainly different from what everyone else does.