Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Peril of Playing God...[174]

When 'Playing God' With Others...

The Objective
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
[James 4:11]

The Rules:
  1. If you want to play God with others, you need to speak against your brother or sister. It's the idea of talking about one person to another with the goal of lowering your listener's estimate of that their person. Of course, those who play this game do so only when the persons being talked about are not around to defend themselves. And there is usually little concern about accuracy. All this nearly covered up, however, with phony words such as,"Stop me if I'm wrong, but.." or "Perhaps I shouldn't say this, but..." or "I don't mean to be critical but...".
  2. You must judge others.. pronounce condemnation upon someone. In order to judge someone rightly, however, we must know all there is to know about the other person. It requires the kind of complete understanding about a person's thoughts and motives that only God posses.

The man who deliberately breaks a law thereby disparages that law. In effect
he sets himself above it and declares that it is a bad law, not worthy to be
obeyed. Such a person removes himself from the category of a doer of the law and
becomes a judge of the law.

The Evaluation

There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor? [James 4:12]

  • Believers should avoid playing this games is that it places us in a position of authority reserved for God alone. Only God has the ability to save and destroy which proves that only He is qualified to judge.
  • Playing God ignores or excuses our own failures.

When 'Playing God' with Yourself

Perhaps the most self-eluding of all games is that version of playing God that we play our in our own lives.

The Objective
Imagine yourself as the final authority over your life, then live like it. Take God completely out of the picture. Don't depend on Him. Don't even recognize His existence.

The Rules

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” [James 4:13]

Five rules from the verse:

  • Selfishly choose your own time and schedule
  • Select the location that pleases you
  • Limit your stay to please yourself
  • Arrange your activities so that they work primarily for your own benefit and pleasure
  • Predict your profit and boast about it

James is not criticizing or advocating haphazard organization.

One who is slack in his work is brother to one who destroys. [Proverbs 18:9]

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. [Ephesians 5:15-16]

The Evaluation

Reasons why we can never win at playing God in our own lives...

  1. Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. [James 4:14a] Tomorrow's circumstances are totally uncertain. An unexpected injury, the sudden death of a spouse, the loss of a job - these or a host of other surprises can instantly and completely change our lives.

  2. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. [James 4:14b] Another reason is that we have no assurance of a long life.

  3. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” [James 4:15] We have no right to ignore God's will.

It is the height of arrogance to disregard God as the matter of our fate.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. [Psalm 14:1]

It's a fool game to play God. Nevertheless, James knows that some would rather take the risk and play than humbly submit to the Lord.

As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. [James 4:16]

All the reasons against playing this game are summed up in this one word...

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