Sifting

April 30, 2009

When something goes wrong, the default tendency for some people is to ask, “What did they do to make this happen?”  The default tendency for others is to wonder, “What did I do to make this happen?”  The first group is obese in confidence; the second is anorexic.  The first group tromps through life wearing big muddy boots, and the second group presents itself as a mat upon which those boots should be wiped.

Both groups err.  We must learn to sift, to sort, to weigh.  “Test everything,” God says, and “hold fast to what is good” (1 Thess 5:21).

Only in the gospel can we evaluate problems well.  The gospel reminds us that we are sinners who often bear blame when things go wrong.  The gospel also reminds us that others are sinners too and may have contributed to the breakdown in some way themselves.  And so we sift the problem, letting the appropriate blame spill through the sieve onto our laps, always remembering that we have an advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1).

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