I gave my life to the Lord in June of 1972. Since that time, I’ve enjoyed learning the Scriptures, functioning in the body of Christ, and growing in my relationship with the Lord. But to my surprise, as the years passed and I became stronger in my faith and my walk, I discovered I had inadvertently surrendered Jesus’ Lordship in my life to others.
I lived a successful life until 2006. My spiritual growth was healthy and my relationships were strong. My wife, Gayle, and I enjoyed a loving relationship, and we enjoyed raising our five children together (and continue to delight in our relationships with them to this day).
But in 2006, I crashed. When I crashed, I did what I thought was right and surrendered my family, all of my accomplishments, personal power, and influence to others. For the first time since childhood, I became totally dependent on others. Now I reflect back on that season of dependence upon others as the greatest mistake of my life. In my weakness, I hoped others would do what I was responsible to do. By resigning, repenting, confessing, and submitting I inadvertently forfeited Christ’s Lordship to people and, as a result, so many, including myself, suffered unnecessarily.
As a result, the church I now pastor, St. James Church, is thriving under the philosophy that each of us carries the responsibility to become stronger, more capable people in Christ. This philosophy is developing a unique church in a national culture that encourages blame, weakness, victimization, and entitlement. St. James Church stands apart from those who give people excuses for the failures in their lives as being the result of disappointing or dysfunctional relationships, trauma, pain, and/or past experiences. Instead, we have learned that in Christ we can be filled with the power of God and renewed in our minds, which gives us the motivation to overcome the impact of past traumas and to grow in competence and strength. As a result, we can then discover effective tools or steps that enable us to live in freedom, and to thrive and grow in the Lordship of Christ, rather than under the power of alternative lords.
For example, if I say, “My boss makes me so angry,” I am saying that my boss is lord over my emotions, not Christ. It may be true that my boss might do things that I don’t like, but I don’t have to give him or her power over my emotions, I do have other choices.
If I say, “I have an addiction problem because of a trauma I suffered 10 years ago,” I am saying that I am incapable of overcoming that trauma, that my trauma is now lord over me, and I will be identified by it and victimized by it the balance of my life.
We don’t have to be that weak. For example, it might be true that trauma has impacted us in a significant way, but that does not mean we must surrender to the effects of that trauma for the rest of our lives, making that trauma lord over us. We don’t have to be defined by our traumas. That is, we don’t have to surrender to the lordship of trauma when Jesus is, in fact, our Lord. Identifying trauma may help us understand certain behaviors, thoughts, and difficulties, but we can make choices to disempower trauma’s lordship and establish Jesus’ Lordship over us.
When I learned that a traumatic childhood experience resulted in some incongruity that I dealt with as an adult, others assumed it was an excuse, a way of evading responsibility. I never saw it that way; instead, I saw it as information which gave me the understanding I needed so that, empowered by Christ, I could overcome the effects of that trauma and live a healthy life. I’ve done that.
So my word of caution is: if you are talking to a pastor, counselor, or friend about an issue in your life and they allow you to blame your situation on another, dismiss their counsel. Then go talk to someone else who will explore your options with you. If their intent is to help you get to a better place, even with the facts as they are, then you will be empowered to make good decisions and improve your situation. You can’t control others, and you can’t change your past, but you can control, or gain control, over yourself, your choices, and your responses. And you can improve your future.
As soon as you blame others, you are acknowledging their lordship over you, and you’ll find yourself powerless and victimized.
But you always have options. The Lord will never allow you to be in a situation where there is no way of escape. He will always point us in the direction of healing.
10 replies on “Blaming Won’t Help You”
This is a message that, had I internalized these values when I was young, my life would have been much more pleasurable. And I am sure I would have been more useful to God.
Very well stated, Ted. Jeff Floyd was my husband and a wonderful teacher…but Jesus Christ was and is my Lord and the Holy Spirit is my constant inner voice… Thanks for the encouragement…
I love you Norma Floyd! You and your family set the direction for my whole life. I am deeply grateful for you!
God so desires to share real true freedom with us. But that can only happen when we ‘get’ the significant value of free will. No one came into the world with us and no one else leaves this earth for Glory exactly as we have walked except for Jesus Christ. He alone will lead us into all truth as we take this relationship more serious and delightful than any other. Ted, I have gained insight from your journey. I am so grateful the Word shows the model of real men. Blessings to you as you strengthen others to walk with Jesus.
There is an old saying that I learned, between 2003 – present. And during the my restoration, just as you gone through also. It says that when you fall flat on your face, and knowing that our lives is going on a landslide to destruction. And then we as believers acknowledge that we are in a blight of giving up, and then somehow by The Grace of God. He says within our Hearts, that has been hurt. Come back to me, and resume your walk with Jesus Christ, His Most Precious Son. No need to go back where you started from, just go forward instead from Glory to Glory. Until the day we approach him at His Throne, facing our own judgment. Not what we have done back then, It’s what we are doing right now for his Love. And Jesus Christ is always there, in the time of need. And I believe within my heart, and that He gives us new insights.
Another arrow hitting the mark. I realize too that saying ” if I could only lose weight, then I’ll feel better about myself” was saying that Christ isn’t enough, the fact that He loves me so much, isn’t enough. If I lose weight, I’ll simply weigh less. The traumas in my life both as a child and an adult, were that….traumas. Christ was, is and will always be the answer to those traumas and not only that, if I allow Him, He redeems those traumas and shows me the beauty that is mine because of them. Because I believe He wastes nothing and redeems everything. Thanks for giving me more to think on as I continue to let my mind be renewed.
Mr. you have been through some kind of hell, all I can say is as humans our condition leaves each of us in a state that we only see the flaws in others and justify our own,I am the last person to assume that high role of judgementalisim, realizing that for the grace of God I couldnt even as much as believe,And I mean that in the most painful way, the world has desguised the spirit of antichrist that is working against me , and Im sure every other christian at this time, It is astounding how the things that caused doubt when we were new to the faith are still the same battles decades later, my children do not believe at all anymore after some secular education, the hard part is other than my personal faith, I cannot prove that christianity is right, all my life I have believed the Christian faith to be the only one, But my sin is that even after being spoken to at one point audibly, God spoke these words to me before I understood the meaning and later as I read the word I realized that it did line up , he simply told me after a period of seeking him, (I am the word) I know that it was him,my mind still works against me in saying how could it be God born of a virgin, the sea opened up, iron floated, why are there three different phrases by three different desciples, describing the last words out of the saviours mouth, why would so many people be born in situations that outside of a miracle they will never come to christ, basically muslims hindus budhist, how can the world be only seven thousand years old these doubtful thoughts continue, why does my faith make me feel so gullible? pretty messed up huh.
I just saw your documentary. Before watching it, I was amongst those who threw stones. Praise God that he is merciful! I was relieved to see that you did not allow your struggles to take “lordship” over you when I looked you up and voila, of course you have blog. This is a faithful reminder that the one true God exists. You and your family have gone through so much, more than I can even imagine. What’s awesome is that God never left your side! And you are continuing to share your God given gift to those in need. GOD BLESS YOU, PASTOR HAGGARD AND THE HAGGARD FAMILY.
Wow I just saw your documentary and then found this blog because I wanted to see how you were doing today. You are an inspiration. I am amazed at how you survived. You never lost faith and you never stopped praying. This blog, “the blame blog” is truly about the power of the Holy Spirit. Such great words that I needed to hear from someone like you as I struggle with living in a destructive marriage and learning that I really do have options and power to make healthy changes.
God bless you.