Ezekiel 18:1-4, “Then another message came to me from the Lord: ‘Why do you quote this proverb concerning the land of Israel: “The parents have eaten sour grapes, but their children’s mouths pucker at the taste?” As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you will not quote this proverb anymore in Israel. For all people are mine to judge — both parents and children alike. And this is my rule: The person who sins is the one who will die.’”
Do you remember playing Hot Potato as a child? It’s a simple game of passing an object from one person to the next in a circle while music plays. When the music stops, the person left holding the “hot potato” is out of the game. It ends when only one person remains.
As we mature into adulthood, many of us are still playing a very similar game — with a “hot potato” called blame. Carefully, we pass it around to ensure that it ends elsewhere. We blame our parents, other people, the government, our social and economic status — we’ll blame anything to divert ultimate responsibility.
In today’s reading, we see that this game is nothing new. We also see God’s response to the Israelites who passed the cause of their troubles to previous generations. What does He say? In a word — STOP!
What happens when we choose to take ownership of the hot potato and claim personal responsibility for our actions? When we recognize that we’re fallen and fallible sinners? The chains of pride begin to break away. We gain more from humbling ourselves than from pointing fingers. As a result, reconciliation occurs with God and others as we experience the warmth of His grace. Humility yields far greater dividends than “passing the potato” because, in the end, we win!
Heavenly Father, I admit that I am responsible for my own actions and deeds, that You hold me accountable whether I want to take the blame or not. Nudge my heart when I begin pointing fingers. Thank You for Your forgiveness and grace. Amen.