I was stunned and amazed to no end when I read the 19- page letter a man wrote me. He not only blamed me for all the mess he had made of his life, but he also pronounced severe judgment and terrible curses on me from God and the devil.
Never in my life had I received anything so full of poisonous hatred. The most incredible thing was that I had never met the man in my life. I had no clue of the situation to which he referred.
Because he had the audacity to make me responsible for all his tragedies and setbacks, I sat down to write him a fitting defense to his wild accusations. But just as I finished, I asked myself, “What am I doing?” I tore up my letter and threw it away.
Then I took an aerogram and wrote him a one-sentence reply: “My dear brother, no one on earth can destroy you, not even God; only you can destroy yourself.”
You see, the man’s real problem was that he never searched his own heart for the root cause of his crisis. Instead, he believed that if I straightened up, his problem would go away, and he would be happy and successful in his endeavors.
This man is certainly not alone in thinking he can blame people around him for his lack of success, peace, comfort, happiness or spirituality. That’s why a husband looks for his wife to change and a wife wants her husband to shape up.
Wanting to feel good and grow spiritually by changing everybody else becomes a vicious cycle. We are convinced that our progress depends on their compliance. We seldom stop and honestly look at ourselves.
It is true that others can be a source of trials, disappointment and challenge, but we cannot blame them for our own lack of spiritual vitality. That’s a matter of our heart and not of outward circumstances.
In fact, throughout Christian history, those believers who went through immense trials, horrendous persecution and martyrdom were the very ones who carried the Christian faith forward. They gained their spiritual strength and endurance in the midst of adversity, and their faith was refined as gold through fire. In order to grow spiritually and become faithful until death, they did not depend on people around them to change. Even in chains, they were free to make progress in pursuing God.