Saving the Hemlocks

The other day one of our employees told me about a customer who blamed us for her dying hemlocks last season.  Oh, she wasn’t blaming us for harming the trees.  She was blaming us for not noticing them.  This customer was annoyed because the men who mow her lawn had not spotted the infected hemlocks and therefore, it was our company’s fault that her hemlocks were dying.

Now, I am not here to defend our company. Perhaps we need  to train our employees to be more observant.  However, what I really want to focus on is this shift in our culture to blame anything bad that happens to us on someone or something else.

We don’t want to take responsibility and so we offer up all kinds of excuses.  If we are overweight, we blame it on our metabolism.  If we are angry, we blame it on the person who “made” us angry.  If our kids aren’t doing well in school, we blame the teacher.  If our children aren’t growing in Christ, we blame the church.  If we are addicted to anything, it is someone else’s fault – certainly not ours!

But there are consequences for our actions and even for our ” inaction”.  If we choose to ignore the health of our trees and shrubs, disease may sneak in and kill them.  If we choose to ignore our children’s entertainment habits, Satan may sneak in and spiritually destroy them.  If we choose to eat whatever we want and never exercise, we will not only weigh more, but may even suffer from high blood pressure or diabetes because of it.   If we do not require our children to study, they will probably not do well in school.  And when these things happen, it won’t be anyone’s fault but our own!

Instead of languishing in the land of self-pity and blame, we need to take responsibility and, with much prayer and biblical counsel, start moving forward out of the morass we find ourselves in.  We have all made mistakes.  We have all chosen the wrong path at times.  But if we acknowledge our sin, repent of it, and change our direction, the Lord will be there to strengthen and guide us!

Unfortunately, hemlocks often die if we wait too long to treat them.  Thankfully, we serve a big God and it is never too late to repent, turn to God for help, and move forward.

Psalm 25:9   The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way.

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