Saint Mark Daily Lenten Devotional – February 20, 2015
by Todd Baxter Fuller
Scripture: Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32
Most of us have heard what therapists are famous for saying-that everything we are stems from our childhood. The way we behave in situations is a direct reflection of what we were taught or inherited from our parents. While this is true, what typically does not get heard is that we can’t blame our parents for what we do today. We are responsible for our own choices and decisions.
In this passage, Ezekiel is discussing a common proverb used by the Israelites: “The parents have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” At this time, it was common for the Israelites to believe that they inherited the sins of their parents. They wanted to see themselves as innocents suffering for the sins of those before them, giving them freedom to remain victims of the actions of others and making them helpless to create new patterns in life. Ezekiel is telling them that the Lord says that only the person who sins shall die. The argument in chapter 18 forces them to acknowledge their own responsibility for what they do in their life.
I have gone to a great therapist for a number of years and she has helped me look at the reasons why I reacted a certain way or have done things the way I have. Now that I know and understand “the why,” she tells me, “What are you going to do now to do it differently?”
Prayer: God, thank you for the life you have given me, and the ability to make my own choices in life. Help me to see my responsibility in the choices I make. Help guide me in those choices toward your will. Amen.