Set-Up To Fail

Have you watched the show “Everybody Loves Raymond“? In the episode where Marie, the mother-in-law, teaches Debra, the daughter-in-law, how to make meatballs, Marie purposely hides the wrong spice behind a label of the correct spice, and they end up tasting horrible. Debra was made to look incompetent. We laugh, but it has a ring of truth to it. We all know someone who has either experienced it, or has done it to us. Maybe we have done that to someone else.

Set-up to fail. The phrase alone packs quite a punch!

It’s something I have become more aware of in many aspects of life and relationships. I see evidence of it within our government, in the media, as well as in various personal relationships.

It feels lousy when I realize someone has done that to me. When I don’t meet certain expectations within a time-frame that just doesn’t work for me. When Grace is not extended if I make a mistake, forget, or can’t get to something. When an expectation is unrealistic.

I fail.

It seems to me that sometimes we think that God does that with us. When something good in our lives is removed, how often do we blame Him? When a promotion falls through, when a career ends, when illness, accident or disaster strikes, sometimes our very first thought is that God set us up to fail. Not in those words maybe, but the idea is the same. He gives good things, allows good things, just so He can take them away when we don’t do good enough… We get angry with God.

Except, He doesn’t do that. He doesn’t withhold good things from us just because we don’t perform well for Him or do enough “works”.

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father …

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

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