The Proverbial Cookie Jar


Have you ever noticed how no one today wants to be held accountable for his or her actions? From athletes, to politicians, to educators, and to every day humans, everyone wants to blame others for their shortcomings. Even when they get caught with their hands in the proverbial “cookie jar,” they offer excuses for their involvement.

Years ago, I brought a 4th grader into my office after lunch to talk to him about some missing food items from another student’s tray. Before I could say a word, he blurted out, “I did not eat her Oreo cookies!”      I tried hard not to laugh since I had not said a word, and his lips were covered with dark cookie crumbs and vanilla stuffing.  Yet, how many of us are like this little 4th grader when it comes to being honest with ourselves and with God?  How many of us will make excuses when the cold hard facts are staring us right in the face? I guess we shouldn’t be surprised at this since it has been happening since the creation of man. When God questioned Adam about the tree, Adam said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:12) When God questioned the woman she replied, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:13) 

When we look through the pages of God’s Word, we find many others who tried to avoid accountability. Consider the “one talent man” of Matthew 25:24-25 when he exclaimed, “Lord, I knew you to be a hard man…… And I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground.” Consider King Saul when he disobeyed God and tried to “blame the people.” (I Samuel 15:15) We know that there are many factors that may contribute to our sins, but that is not the point of this article. The fact is that we have sinned, and all of our reasons are of no avail before the Creator.

Some in the Bible acknowledged their sins and received forgiveness. The prodigal son of Luke 15 stated, “I will arise and go to my father and say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.” (Luke 15:18)  King David, when confronted by the prophet Nathan, did not blame Bathsheba for his actions, but said, “I have sinned against the Lord.” (2 Samuel 12:13) The publican said, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” (Luke 18:13)

Instead of blaming others for our sins, we need to stand before God, and admit that we have sinned and ask for his forgiveness. Over and over again, God forgives those who acknowledge their sins, humble themselves, and ask for forgiveness.