Have you ever been blamed for something you didn’t do? Its not a good feeling. In fact, we hear stories fairly frequently of people wrongly imprisoned for crimes they did not commit. Can there be a worse injustice? When things don’t go our way, when we are late, when we don’t get our work done, etc, our natural response is to look for an excuse and point the finger at someone other than ourselves. We like to blame others for our own faults. Just listen to a group of kids at recess an you will get an earful of squabbles and tattle tales assigning blame. Adults are not much different. You can also listen to any of the presidential candidate debates and you will hear a lot of blame shifting and name calling from almost everyone. Why are we so quick to make excuses and pass judgement on anyone other than us?
He said to another man, “Follow me.” But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:59-60
I regularly go into people’s homes for work and I often hear parents excusing the messy house because of the children. This is often true. Just leave 2 young kids alone in a room for 10 minutes and it will change dramatically! Why are we so self-conscious about our appearances? What will they think of me if my kids are not well dressed, my yard does not get mowed this weekend, if there is rust on my car, or my life is not perfect? What will God/others think of me if I back out of this project, or I choose to be selfish instead of doing what I know I should? Self- awareness of our sins and failures is the first step toward any type of change. What excuses do you give for your shortcomings before God or others?
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2
Self- condemnation for things beyond our control is equally as damaging and is another form of blame shifting upon ourselves. Christian guilt is not always the best motive for action. It is also easy to blame God for the Christian and non-Christian alike. If God is all powerful, why doesn’t he do this. If God really loved me, why doesn’t he give me what I want? You get the idea. In reality, God did take our blame when he didn’t have to. When Christ paid the penalty for our sins on the cross, it was an expression of his love for us. He allowed the finger to be pointed at himself when he was innocent.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:12-13
While we do not have to accept the blame for everyone else’s mistakes, let us stand for truth and justice when we have opportunities each day. Let us also take responsibility for our own actions and not believe the lies that we tell ourselves to shift the blame. Trying to show love to others in a society that attempts to justify every evil action is not an easy task, but it is one action that God calls us to take!
Strength and Courage in Christ,