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Looking to the Wrong Source by James Robison

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Looking to the Wrong Source by James Robison
April 27, 2008 09:06AM
Blessings to all who come and read this. While I am not prone in posting others' posts there are some that just need to be shared. This by James Robison is filled with great wisdom and knew others would be blessed by it as was I. It is time for each of us to stand upon what has been done by our Lord Jesus Christ and do what is our responsibility as believers in Him. We all have things in our past that could justify our actions today, but the justification is of this world, not of God's kingdom. We are to forgive those who trespass against us just as we have been forgiven our trespasses through Christ Jesus and we are to move ahead as more than conquerors through Him who God sent to restore us back as sons and daughters of the most high God and co-laborers to establish His kingdom on earth, His will to be done here, just as it is done in heaven. May we be obedient and mindful of our many blessings in Christ and move forward to bless Him and be a blessing in others. God bless! We love you here and pray God's best for each of you.

Looking To the Wrong Source
by James Robison

"I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth."
(Psalm 121:1-2)

In any election year, I stand amazed at all the promises made by political candidates. In today’s world, people erroneously look to “The Hill” as their hope and source for meaningful help. This has led people to look in the wrong direction for a security and provision. Sadly, many who face challenges and personal need find comfort in blaming everyone else for the problems they encounter and erroneously look to government as the solution.

Far too many people blame their own circumstances, the failure of their parents, the extreme poverty in which they have been born and other uncontrollable factors for their dissatisfaction. Some even blame God. They live with a feeling that their life is unfairly difficult compared to everyone else. Consequently, they readily believe and follow any leader, whether social, political or religious, who tells them who to blame and offers misguided solutions. This victimization mentality is unhealthy and potentially dangerous.

Let me share my personal experience. As many readers already know, I am the product of rape. I was placed in foster care until I was five years old, then taken for the next ten years to live in poverty with a stepfather who couldn’t read or write, and then with my biological father -- an alcoholic who had raped my mother. I moved fifteen times during that chaotic period. The majority of the homes did not sit on a normal street. One was on a dirty river in which I bathed and another was on the back side of a garbage dump. Our mail had to be delivered at other people’s homes. My father was a drunk, we were poor, all my friends were fighting and I was a minority white kid in areas 90% Hispanic and black. I had a few reasons to complain.

But somehow I looked beyond my own pain and saw possibilities. I would like to say that it was because I was a Christian, but that was not always the case. I grew up in a home where God was mentioned, but the ways of God were not always respected.

A pastor and his wife, who kept me for the first five years of my life, certainly influenced me. I know that after I was taken away, their church family never stopped praying for me. I know this made a difference, but I still had choices to make.

I went to work at age twelve. I started as a sacker at a grocery store, but rapidly advanced to a stocker. Before my thirteenth birthday, I was head of the produce department. Why did I get a job? I needed some money since my family didn’t have any. There were a few meager things I wanted to buy. I saw America as a place of opportunity. I didn’t criticize or envy all the people who had things. I thought, “Well, somehow they got it. Maybe I can get something, too.”

I had been working at the grocery store for less than two years when the store manager came up to me and said, “James, you’re the best worker I’ve ever had. Someday you could manage a store like this.”

I thought to myself, “I could own a store like this someday!”

Where did that come from? It didn’t come from a father. It didn’t come from school. It certainly didn’t come from listening to a politician. I just knew that it was possible to go to work and do something. And that was when the wages were only 40 cents an hour!

I was forced to leave home before I could drive because of my violent, alcoholic father. I moved back in with the pastor and his wife. Once again, I got a job. I made 80 cents an hour now and I thought I was rolling!

I met Betty and fell in love with her. Guess what? We both got jobs. She didn’t have any money either, but she had a stable home life. Betty and I married when we were both nineteen. By then, I had fallen in love with God, and we certainly loved each other. We decided God was going to be the center of our life and our source for everything. No doubt that helped everything, but we still understood the importance of work. We both had a job when we got married and our combined income was less than $6,000 a year. We worked real hard, too. We didn’t buy anything we could not afford. When we didn’t have a washing machine and dryer, we went to the laundromat. When we couldn’t afford a television, we just talked to each other. We never resented that some people made more in a week or even a day than we made all year; we were grateful for what we had.

We determined that we would work hard and try to make good decisions. A year and two months after we married we had our first child. We decided that Betty would stay home to care for our daughter. In order to live on my income, we lived in a 10 x 50 trailer. There is no shame in that -- not when you work hard, love God and one another, and do the best you can. We prayed, tried to make good decisions and never expected another person or organization to take care of us.

Don’t get me wrong: I think if you know me at all, you know that I believe in helping the helpless. As a matter of fact, I call that charity. There is a whole chapter in the Bible written about charity it’s a chapter on love. If we don’t have it, we don’t have life. I believe when you see the needy and you begin to help them, there is a personal compassion connection. You don’t throw money at a needy target. You extend hands of love and support with people who are devoted to those in need.

Of course, the government can enforce laws against injustice and discrimination. This is the proper role of government as protector of the innocent. Obviously, there are people physically and mentally unable to care for themselves, so government can play a role in aiding them (although I believe the church can do better). Citizens can work together and, along with government, create opportunity and remove obstacles. But I do not see government as a form of Robin Hood, taking from those who have rightfully earned wealth and doling it out randomly to the less fortunate. When politicians do this, whether through taxation, regulation or any other means, they are simply buying power by making promises that they cannot possibly fulfill without destroying everything of value in a free country and making the people bond servants to the whims of the state. (If you want a modern example of this destruction, study the recent history of President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.)

Financial advisor Dave Ramsey emphasizes the importance of personal responsibility by stating that your financial situation is determined by what goes on in your house, not the White House. Even though there was a lot wrong in my house as a child, I decided not to spend my life blaming everybody who was wrong. They made terrible mistakes, but I didn’t have to build on those mistakes and excuse myself because of their failures. And neither does anyone else in this country.

Greed, selfishness and manipulation are wrong, but it is equally wrong to blame everybody else for the problems you face or your own failure to get moving. There are jobs. They may not be exactly what you want, but they are there. I didn’t want to spend my life with a 40-cent-an-hour job, but I wanted to work. People are coming across the border continuously to take jobs that other people won’t take.

Americans must stop looking to Capitol Hill for help. We must work and build good families. By the grace of God, we can all find a way out of the ditch. Those who look to “The Hill” in Washington rather than “the hills” in the Bible will only sink deeper into the muck of poverty and dependence. Jesus pointed out that when the blind lead the blind, they all get in the ditch.

Open your eyes and look around. There is opportunity. Pray for direction and the favor of the Lord. Don’t wait for someone else to open the door. You must take the first step.

This Week
If you are in need, look to God for your provision. If you see others in need, ask the Lord how you can be their answer to prayer.

“Lord, I depend on you for all my needs, according to your riches in glory. Forgive me for depending on others when I should only depend on you. I trust you and give my life to you.”

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