Thursday March 2, 2006
The Blame Game
As children, we all played the “blame game.” When an adult threatened to discipline us for bad behavior, the story we told accused a sibling or friend of all responsibility. Of course, the other child had a much different tale that implicated us. Unfortunately, many individuals grow up and keep right on playing the blame game, never acknowledging that no one wins this contest.
Even as adults, we sometimes think shifting accountability for poor choices or undesirable consequences will make us feel better or cause others to regard us more favorably. But as we learn from the Bible’s first family, blaming someone else does not alter the facts — each person is responsible for choosing his or her course of action. Adam claims he ate fruit from the tree of knowledge because of Eve. She, in turn, accuses another: “The serpent deceived me” (v. 13). But both Adam and Eve give one self-incriminating statement: “I ate” (vv. 12-13, emphasis added).
As much as we like to toss about excuses — “you know how I was raised” or “I was really angry” or “I’ve been so upset since Bob spoke badly of me” — we are nonetheless answerable for our own choices. Regardless of the cause, sin is never justifiable, and God will hold us accountable. He gave each person free will, which means we all have the right to make our own decisions, wise or unwise. Our choices include whether or not to serve the Lord. With freedom comes personal responsibility for right and wrong behavior, attitudes, and responses. Placing blame is not a game for believers.
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