“So they gave it to me and I threw it into the fire and out came this calf.” Exodus 32:24:b
It’s one of the funniest exclusions of individual guilt found in the Scripture. Moses had just come down from the mountain of God where he had received the commandments of the Lord. Joshua, his young assistant, heard all the commotion in the camp and thought it was the sound of war. Moses’ discerning ear proved to be right. The people of Israel were throwing a wild party in honor of their new god – golden calf that had been designed by Aaron, Moses’ brother at the cost of the people’s gold jewelry given.
Moses questioned Aaron and says how could you do such a thing? What did the people do to you that you would bring such a great sin upon them? After sharing that the people had brought their gold jewelry, the scripture above is Aaron’s explanation for what happened. I threw the gold into the fire and “out came this calf.” “It just happened! I had nothing to do with it!”
Things that require design don’t just happen. Gold had to be forged and shaped into a golden calf. Idols don’t just leap out of fire. Personal responsibility is a critical element in maturity. We can’t grow until we break denial and acknowledge our own part in where we are. We didn’t just get here by chance. Choices were made. Decisions produced actions that always bring consequences. Shirking personal responsibility is as old as human history. It began in the garden when God approached Adam and Eve after they had disobeyed the commandment of God. Those circumstances set the blame game in play. Adam blamed Eve. . . Eve blamed the serpent.
We’ll continue to be defeated by our own patterns until we choose to break them. We all must “man up” and acknowledge – “I am where I am today because of choices I have made and actions I have taken. That’s the first step to lasting change; the turn toward success; the move toward maturity. None of us can break out of our own sinful patterns without making the most important choice – Jesus, be Lord of my life! Right now! Right here! Forever!