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  • The Blame Game

  • The Blame Game

    Have you ever played the blame game? If you are like most people you will probably acknowledge using a scapegoat from time to time, but few of us want to admit we actually have a habit of blaming other people for our mistakes. Adam originated this game thousands of years ago, and since then, mankind has been attempting to master it.

    The truth is we don’t like to admit when we are wrong and when we are caught, we like to shift the blame to someone or something else. If we are stopped for speeding we immediately offer an excuse, such as “I was going with the flow of traffic” (blaming someone else) or “I didn’t see the sign noting the speed change” (blaming something else). We try to excuse our behavior and lessen the guilt and even the consequence of our sin. But unlike us, God is not fooled, and He sees past our attempts to hide our mistakes. God does not want us to use our past, friends, family members, or stressful circumstances as excuses to misbehave. When we constantly make excuses for ourselves, it short circuits the work God wants to do in our lives because we spend too much time trying to find a way to minimize our errors rather than a way to correct them.

    When God discovered Adam and Eve in the Garden after they had eaten the forbidden fruit, he asked why they had been disobedient. Adam replied, “The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:12) When Eve was questioned she responded, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate it.” (Genesis 3:13) But despite their attempts to shift the blame, Adam and Eve were both held responsible for their actions because regardless of the influences that led them astray, they both had chosen wrongly of their own volition.

    James 1: 13-15 says, “When tempted no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

    We all make mistakes, but when we do, we need to recognize that blaming other people or circumstances can’t absolve us of the guilt we face--only the blood of Jesus can. David’s response following his affair with Bathsheba should be a model to us all. He writes in Psalms 51:3-4, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” David didn’t attempt to make excuses. Instead, he acknowledged that his sin against Uriah was really an offense towards God. Because of David’s recognition that He needed the Lord’s mercy, he was
    forgiven and cleansed. And even though David’s life is littered with mistakes, he is still regarded as a “man after God’s own heart” because he was willing to take responsibility for his sin and cultivate a listening ear and a contrite heart.

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