Wednesday; October 11

On July 2, 1881 President James Garfield was shot in Washington D. C. by Charles Guiteau.  There are several interesting aspects to this shooting – one was that President Garfield had been on the job for less than four months – but, the most compelling might be that had lived for seventy-nine days after being shot.  It wasn’t until September 19, 1881 that President Garfield succumbed to his injuries.  If you study this event in history a thought-provoking side note is how the medical practices of the day are often blamed for the president’s death.  In light of today’s advanced practices, many of the things done in 1881 were rudimentary at best and dangerous at worst.  I guess it is important to learn from history so that we don’t repeat it, but this is also vital to remember that “medicine” was not ultimately responsible for his death, the culpability lay squarely on the shoulders of his shooter.  The person accountable for the death of President Garfield was not a doctor who treated the symptoms, but the man who pulled the trigger!
We live in a time when finger-pointing and secondary blaming is prevalent (especially when determining motives), but we must keep in mind that individuals are not only responsible for “captaining their own ship”, they are also ultimately answerable for the choices that they make.  Sure, they can be influenced, but they are the ones who make their own decisions and will be held accountable for their own actions.  The Bible reminds us that this is the price we pay for free-will when it notes, “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (II Corinthians 5:10) 
Let’s make sure that we accept personal responsibility for what we choose to do and hold others accountable for the choices they make.  When we do that, we are all better in the end.
          Think About It!

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