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When Things Go Wrong...

When I sold IT software and hardware the running joke around the office was,

“Let him describe it, but don’t let him TOUCH it!” I had an uncanny knack of blowing up our products so they wouldn’t work the way they were supposed to.

Once, after pulling in some high-ranking executives from Xerox to see a demo of our new state-of-the-art Unix workstations, everything froze. I was giving them the high-level slide presentation while my Systems Engineer worked to prepare the demo in the next room. During a break I came over to check in with him and he said…”It’s Frozen.” “FROZEN?,” I gasped, “What do you mean- FROZEN?” “The screen’s locked,” he explained, “I can’t make it work.”

I'm not sure how this happened--even to this day. Yet, the fact that I touched it, no doubt led to its demise.... I stalled for a few and when he continued giving me the “thumbs-down” signal, I confessed our challenge and sent them on their way. Needless to say, we didn’t close any deals that day!

When Things Go Wrong

When things go wrong, how do you respond? As Christians, we know we shouldn't "lose our cool." We know we shouldn't rant and rave or even get discouraged and quit. We know we shouldn't blame others or take our frustrations out on the innocent. And, we also know we shouldn't blame God...

Or do we?

I'm convinced that in some Christian circles, the emphasis on God's Sovereignty makes blaming God not only OK, but preferred. Now, I should clarify that I DO believe that God is sovereign and in ultimate control. I also believe that He is good and all-powerful, etc. Still, under His sovereign rule, there is this ugly little thing called "free will." Furthermore, the consequences of free moral agency are sometimes harsh for us...and for others around us.

So my point is that the existence of free will and the natural consequences of choices made as part of free will, make it unwise and frankly unfair to blame God when things "go south," so-to-speak. The reason I was a danger to IT products was that I had no interest in, nor had I taken the time to learn, how to use them. So when my demo collapsed, was it God's doing? No...whatever I did in setting it up, let to a catastrophic failure. Could God have rescued me? Of course. Why didn't he? I'm not 100% sure--but to think he "did it to me," would be a mistake!

So when things go bad, remember this:

1. God loves you anyway.

2. God likely didn't do this to you. It may have been your own doing, the work of someone else in your life, or simply a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

3. The key is to learn from it what you can and move on--assured of God's faithfulness to you in the process.

To that end,

Pastor Joel

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