The Blame Game

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The Blame Game

February 26, 2014 at 9:02 AM


Where it all began


Genesis 3:11 – 13

And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”


Someone once said said, “Adam blamed Eve, Eve blamed the serpent and the serpent didn’t have a leg to stand on”.  (I have heard that all snakes have 2 tiny legs under their scales on each side of their body.   Maybe these are remnants of what they had before they were cursed to slither on their bellies from the time that Adam fell.)


From the time of Adam blaming has been a strong part of the fallen nature of man and it is particularly strong in our society today because there is a great swing away from people taking personal responsibility for the things that go wrong in their lives and families.  I saw on TV recently a man who was convicted for an offence said it was because his father abused him, no sense of personal responsibility there. 



Some people are too quick to take the blame


Most people have the tendency to cast blame anywhere but on themselves, but some people are too quick to take the blame for everything that goes wrong.  When something goes wrong, or when a conflict breaks out, some people will look at the other person and think, “what’s wrong with you”, but others will think, “what’s wrong with me”.  The “what’s wrong with me” ones have often shouldered blame for things that were nothing to do with them. 


It’s not uncommon for children to feel it was their fault that their parents split up, or even that somebody died.  They can think things like, “if I’d been good it wouldn’t have happened”, or “if I’d kept my room tidy dad would have stayed”, and so on. 


If you are one who soaks up blame then please understand that this message isn’t aimed at you, and if you’re in the middle of a break up or divorce, do make sure to clearly tell your children many times that it’s nothing to do with them.



Breaking the cycle means taking responsibility


Blaming is a good indication that we belong to the human race.  One of the first things Adam did after the fall was to try and shift the responsibility of what he’d done on to someone else.  We can’t even say this was learned behaviour or modelling he’d had, it was like an automatic response to his guilt and we’re all prone to do the same.  So this is not about condemnation but it is about our need to break the cycle and learn to fully take responsibility for our own actions and attitudes.


2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 



An alcoholic father had 2 sons.  One grew up to be a clean-cut teetotaller and a good citizen who lived a productive life.  The other one ended up a hopeless drunk like his father.  Each one was asked the question, “how come you turned out the way you did”?  Both sons gave exactly same answer, “what would you expect with a father like mine”.



One writer describes Adam’s response to his sin as “hide and hurl.”  First of all he hid from God but when he couldn’t do that anymore he hurled the blame on Eve, who then hurled it on the serpent.


We “hide and hurl” when we blame others rather than take responsibility for our actions.  When we blame others it’s like it’s their problem rather than ours and because it’s “theirs” we never deal with it.  Blaming lets us off the hook because it prevents us from having to face up to our issues and change our ways.  Common examples are when people blame their anger on their children’s annoying behaviour or their bad moods on things their family and workmates do.


We’d be living in denial if we said that others haven’t hurt us or abused us and even deeply affected our lives in a negative way, but how we respond to the hurt is our responsibility. Whether we stay as a victim or eventually work our way through to being a victor is in our hands.   


A man caught up with the news of an acquaintance he hadn’t seen for 10 years.  He heard how this man was still going from job to job and still complaining that nothing ever worked out for him just as he had been doing 10 years earlier.  He blamed each failure or disappointment on his last boss, his school professor, his church or friends who let him down.  As far as he was concerned it was never his fault.  He never once considered that his problems could have anything to do with his poor performance or his lack of initiative and procrastination.  None of the pain and loss he’d been through had taught him a thing and 10 years down the track he was still stuck in the same old rut.



Repentance is a key to breaking the blame cycle


1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  


Acts 3:19

Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,


How does blaming stop people from repenting?


Without owning our sin and repenting there would be no blotting out of our sin and no times of refreshing.  There’s an old story about the devil crying outside a church.  Someone asked what was the matter and he said, “Those people blame me for everything”.   We can’t say, “the devil made me do it”, or “someone else made me do it and experience the blessing of repentance, it’s one or the other, not both. 


Matthew 3:8

Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance,




First step in dealing with blame - becoming aware


Over the course of the next week make a secret list of all the things you blame others for.  

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