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  • Writer's pictureKent Brandenburg


Children often speak in monosyllabic words, but if they learn an early multi-syllabic one, it might be the word, “accident.” You might hear this from one of your children: “It was an accident.” Maybe you can hear that in your head, because your children liked that word. A child may behave in a reckless, incautious manner and then he breaks something. An accident.

It’s amazing, all these “accidents” that might occur in people’s lives when they do not act appropriately. On the other hand, some do not seem to have many of these same types of accidents. The writers of the dictionary must understand something, because they define “accident”: “an unfortunate event resulting from carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes.” The authors of the dictionary do not include “outside of one’s control.” An accident usually is something you didn’t want to happen. You would change or would have changed it if you could. The dictionary seems to imply that an accident didn’t need to occur if someone behaved with judiciousness and temperance.

Wikipedia actually has the entry, “life happens,” explained as “an expression of acceptance of misfortune and unforeseen bad circumstances or luck.” Not everything goes like we want, but less goes wrong when we take responsibility for our actions. This also fits with the true view of the world. God requires man to take responsibility. An accident view follows what is outside of control, allowing for whatever behavior. Children even know this. They say, “Accident.” They try to get out of the responsibility with that as an excuse. In general, this isn’t an accident out there. God allowed or gave man responsibility. He enables by His grace.

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