It seems that it is almost "human nature" to find some reason for things going awry in our lives. Some may condemn self and assume all the "responsibility and guilt" that is associated with the painful condition. However it appears that the majority are always looking for an external person or thing upon which the blame can be imposed … "That stupid hammer smashed my finger!" Many years ago in early Salem, Massachusetts, innocent individuals were punished or killed for being "witches" … on the accusation of one or more citizens who disliked or held a grudge against someone.  Today, thanks to the DNA technology, individuals who have served many years in prisons have been proven guiltless of the crime.
    Certainly, some individuals do evil and inhumane acts and they will eventually receive their just punishment. It is also true that a large portion of those evil and inhumane acts are committed against totally innocent people … we see it happening all around the world (including dear old USA). One real tragic event will likely trigger a series of "copycat" stories that ruin lives. An example is the case where a young man proclaimed that a high-ranking Roman Catholic priest in Chicago had molested him when he was an altar boy years ago. After the story appeared in all the news media, placing tremendous pressure on the priest and casting a shadow on his heroic reputation, the young man admitted that he had been in error. Recanting his story did not restore the priest to his former condition.
    Recently there has been a flurry of cases in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area where young girls claimed to have been approached by a man driving a black pick-up truck … then later admitted that the story had been fabricated because they were having trouble in school … or at home. This seems to have been inspired by the most dreadful case of Amber Hagerman, who was abducted and killed in nearby Arlington, Texas, during the past year. [President Clinton just recently signed the "Amber Bill".] A witness said that Amber had been abducted by a man driving a black pick-up.
    A child kills their parents and claim the parents abused them. A father kills his son and claims that the son was planning to kill him. Someone slips on a floor and sues someone else for umteen million dollars. The courts are clogged with such cases. A recent (October 3rd) headline in the Dallas Morning News announced "Girl wins suit against schools" … she was 11 years old when the "incidents" occurred in 1993-94 … she "endured sexual taunts and gender-specific slurs in front of classmates and was threatened by the boy and his friends when she complained." The court ordered the school district to pay a total of $ 500,000! And the stories go on …
    Now, let’s get to the other level of the matter. How does such activity apply to the spiritual reality? Most people are at least basically familiar with the "Ten Commandments. Let’s take a serious look at some of them:

(Matthew 19:17-19 - Lamsa Translation) --- And he said to him, Why do you call me good? There is no one who is good except the one God; But if you want to enter into life, obey the commandments. He said to him, Which ones? And Jesus said to him, You shall not kill; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; Honor your father and your mother; and, Love your neighbor as yourself. [See also Exodus 20:12-17]

    These are the words in the direct teaching of Jesus as he prepared the disciples for their ministry to feed the sheep. It seems to me that the world, as a whole, has wandered far from the path. Indeed, there is untold good in the world and good works abound … but the other influence … the evil one … is also working wonders. The same was the case in the time of Jesus … even he had the battle with Satan, both personally (Luke 4:1-15 NKJ) and also intervening for others.
    Note that Jesus said "If you want to enter into life." That is a truly profound statement! One might say, "Oh, I am already living; I already have life." I have heard many comment, when they were having a "good time, "This is really living! How blind we must be! I am sure that Jesus joked, laughed and enjoyed good food but he was teaching of the Ultimate Living in Union with Eternity. Like all of us, Jesus had his good days and his bad days … "Good" Friday was a real bummer! Maundy (Holy) Thursday also had its down side.
    The life we seek (prepare?) to enter into is that very essence of our being … that created entity, unique and special, that God provided for each of us. It is what gives us the ability to function in the material world … a temporary place. I doubt that the body would be aware of having a lousy time if the soul decided to move on to a more noble place unfettered by the physical arena and the limits of time. Think what it would be like to never be late again … always on "time" because there is no time. A procrastinator’s nightmare? Perhaps, but not for long.
    You shall not kill, commit adultery or steal … all with their various forms of casting blame. Not bearing false witness can be hard to determine. Bearing false witness for the purpose of personal gain or to avenge a grudge is a possibility not easily detected. What if a person truly believes that they are telling the truth but either do not know all the facts or have been persuaded by another? What if a person bears false witness to themselves? That is a really sad situation … they condemn themselves to a lifetime of guilt, grief and regret over something that has power over them only if they permit it.
    Every human has made many "mistakes" … and I have had 72 years to make a bundle of them! But one should not allow something in the past … even yesterday … to prevent them from growing and prospering in spirit at this very moment … real time. Finding someone or something to blame for our condition or our woes is of no value to self and certainly harmful to the one blamed. Let’s leave the judging and sentencing to God … we need to get on with what we came here to do … and it was NOT to judge the spiritual status of others.

by Nathan [November 1996]