April 2021, Vol. 40, No. 4

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Coincidentally At Fault

posted on April 1, 2021

[285 words]

Robert Todd Lincoln was at the White House when he heard what had happened to his father at Ford Theater. He immediately rushed to be by his side and stayed there till his death. After the death of his father, he would go on to be a very successful lawyer and an important figure in Republican politics. Yet He eventually refused to have to do with the presidency. He felt it was too dangerous.

It wasn’t just at his father’s deathbed he saw what an assassin’s bullet could do. He was standing right next to James Garfield when a gunman fired the bullet that would eventually kill him. Then as he was waiting outside for William McKinley when he was shot. From then on he refused to go anywhere near a president.  He said “No, I’m not going, and they’d better not ask me, because there is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present.”

It was just a coincidence but the tragedy still weighed on Robert Lincoln. He isn’t the only one. Many folks get weighed down thinking they are responsible for things that they really don’t have much control of.  Things like other’s behavior or choices. We think if we would have done this or that maybe things would be different.  

We can influence others. We can teach others. We can be examples. But we can’t control them. We have enough to be responsible for in managing our own lives that we don’t need to take on everyone else’s as well. 

Let’s be careful to not blame ourselves or others for actions that they have no control over. God only judges a man for his own actions, shouldn’t we as well?

Barry Haynes
Hope church of Christ
Hope, AR

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