Root Cause Analysis

But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

  • Romans 3:21-24

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • Romans 6:23

Root Cause Analysis was never one of my greatest skills.  I was great at troubleshooting.  I could listen to everyone complain, from the Operations side and from the Maintenance side, and then I could pick what was really wrong out of all that.  I could get the equipment back up and running, because I new the inner workings of everything.  I also knew when someone said something that simply made no sense.  They did not like it when I asked them to recheck what they had done, but when a lot of money was riding on getting the equipment running within the next hour, maintaining friends was not high on my priority list.  And they never seemed to call me in for a consultation until it was the last hour.

But when you had something that broke periodically or underperformed, you always seemed to have the human element involved.  Figuring out what the root cause was became more difficult as the human behavior in the process became more significant.  Okay, they hit the wrong button or they hit the right button too early or too late.  Why did they do that?  Was it their training?  Were they saboteurs?  Did they not care?  Were they too tired?  Were they distracted?  Was the joke that the other guy told that funny that they forgot?

I watch a channel on television that gives the weather forecast.  A few of the meteorologists call Friday, “Weekend Eve.”  This irritated me because as a safety professional, one of the root causes for not performing one’s job safely is that it is the first day of the week and they are not fully back into the groove of things.  Another of these root causes is that it is the last day of the week and their mind is on their weekend plans, thus Weekend Eve promotes poor safety practices.  But then, the channel started calling Thursday, Weekend Eve Eve.  They probably have no idea about this root cause analysis.  Otherwise they would know that their little joke had just increased the likelihood of someone dying on the job due to not being focused on being safe.  Of course, the elephant in every safety meeting room is the myth that everyone has a good safety attitude.  I worked for DuPont for eight years, and to survive employment there, you had to develop a great safety attitude that spilled over into your home life.  But other places?  Forget it.  They pressed safety and rewarded long stretches of on-the-job injury free periods, but DuPont rewarded off-the-job safety performance.

But when you really boil down the root cause of interpersonal performance issues, I cannot think of any root cause other than Romans 3:23.  We have all fallen short of God’s Glory.  We deserve the death penalty, but God Himself has given us a way out, through belief in His Son.

Some people have argued that since slavery is mentioned in the Bible that God did not think it that bad.  But it is Romans 3:23 coupled with Murphy’s Law that makes it bad.  If we went by the Levitical Law and allowed people to surrender themselves to someone that they owed money to, and that person, who was going to grant you freedom during the year of Jubilee, treated you like family as you worked off the debt, no one would be talking about oppression or treating the slaves unfairly.  But if you drive your car like a maniac simply because you own it, you would treat people that you own improperly as well.  Slavery might not be abominable, if we loved one another, forgave debts, and treated others fairly.  But the sin of greed gets in the way.

Could we say the same about extramarital affairs?  Why even think of doing it unless you are lustful and greedy.  A true loving relationship can happen without sex being involved.  And the Bible encourages sex between man and woman who are married to each other.

I have heard church leaders lament over theft at the church and then heard someone say that the church is supposed to help those in need and obviously the thief needed it.  Really?  Maybe the thief needed a few dollars to buy illegal drugs?

All of these issues come down to that fact that we have a sin nature and we will remain imperfect until we are with Jesus in eternity.

Now the question of whether the guy hit the wrong button or hit the right button at the wrong time…

Like I said, root cause analysis was not my strong suit.

But if we keep our eyes on Jesus, we will stumble a lot less.

Thank You, Jesus, for keeping me a little safer and helping me be more like you today.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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