Carola is a Christian writer and author of several books. She writes about Christian living, relationships, and other topics.
The blame game started in the garden of Eden and has been messing with our minds ever since. Adam was caught red-handed by God with a delectable piece of forbidden fruit in his hand. The juice was probably trickling down his chin as he quickly chomped and swallowed the evidence of his crime.
When God asked Adam if he had been eating the goodies on the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - the one tree he was not allowed to touch - he said: “The woman you gave me had given me the fruit, and I ate it. In other words, "Hey, you gave me this female. It’s her fault."
Eve bristled at this accusation. No way she was going to take the fall for this one. “The serpent deceived me, and I ate it,” she said. In other words, "the devil made me do it." Never mind that she has been staring at the tree with her mouth watering since she first saw it.
In the book I Blame Eve: Freedom from Perfectionism, Control Issues, and the Tendency to Listen to Talking Snakes,. author Susanna Foth Aughtmon says that like Eve, admits that she, like Eve, would listen to a talking snake.
God saw right through Adam and Eve’s attempts to deflect responsibility for their actions and held them accountable for disobeying His instructions. Adam and Eve tried to hide from him without success.
As consequences for their sins, Adam and Eve were banned from their home in Eden and were forced to struggle to eke out a living from the land. Womankind was cursed with painful labor pains during childbirth (thanks a lot, Eve!). Humanity has been pointing the finger at someone else ever since, just like Adam and Eve did in Genesis 3.
Blaming others is a typical human response when we are caught doing something wrong. Sometimes we blame our dysfunctional childhood, the people who mistreated or abused us, or circumstances such as poverty or unemployment for our own sinful behavior and poor choices. Blame is a convenient way to avoid taking responsibility for what we have done and facing the consequences of our actions.
Consequences of Blaming Others
We are cut off from God
God is righteous and holy. We cannot have a relationship with Him if we refuse to acknowledge our sins. When we say that our circumstances are someone else’s fault, we cut ourselves off from God and are barred from our spiritual Eden. Repentance is an important part of the Christian walk.
We feel guilt and shame
If we do not confess our sin and repent, we are weighted down with guilt and shame. We feel compelled to hide secrets. God is faithful to forgive our sins if we truly repent and ask Him for it. God promises that He will restore us to both physical and emotional health (Psalm 32:3-5, 65:2-4).
Accepting the consequences of what we have done
When we eat whatever forbidden fruit there is in our lives, we can expect that there will be consequences for our sins. We are deceiving ourselves if we, like Adam and Eve, think that we can hide from God and cover up what we have done. God knows our dirty little secrets. We pay a price when we sin.
However, the good news is that our God is a loving, caring Father who will forgive our wrongs when we repent. He will help us deal with the destructive results of our sinful actions. When we accept responsibility for our sins, learn from them, and mature in our Christian walk.
Our physical and emotional health deteriorates
Our health begins to deteriorate as the fallout of our sin begins (Psalm 38:3-6). We may find sources to not only to take the blame but to alleviate our prodding consciences. We suffer from sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression. Our physical health will also be affected.
Problems are not solved
We may escape the consequences of our actions and temporarily relieve fear, anxiety, and guilt by blaming others. Without accountability, however, issues are not addressed, and problems are not resolved. We are stuck and miserable.
How to Stop The Blame Game
When we are constantly accusing God or other people of crimes against us, we are stirring up anger, resentment, and bitterness against them inside. These feelings can lead to us harming other people intentionally or unintentionally.
We may treat our human targets badly and speak cruel, nasty words to them. We may even concoct ways to take revenge on them. These negative emotions can cause a downward spiral that plunges us into deeper and deeper chronic stress and physical ailments. Instead of blaming, we need to forgive those we perceive as perpetrators and put the situation behind us by letting go of our anger.
We are sometimes in a bad situation that is someone’s else’s fault and we are an innocent party. Instead of pointing the figure of blame, we need to forgive them for what they have done, no matter what harm was done.
"When you blame others, you give up your power to change"
- Dr. Robert Anthony
Stop Blaming, Start Living
In the book It's Not My Fault: The No-Excuse Plan for Overcoming Life's Obstacles, authors Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend say we live in a culture of blame. The book identifies two kinds of people: "those who take responsibility for their lives and those who don't." Those who do can accept the consequences of their actions and deal with the fallout. Through repentance, they can reconnect with God and grow in their Christian walk.
We need to take a second look at the blame we place on others and accurately assess who is really at fault. We may be an innocent party in some cases. When we have some fault in a situation, we should be putting the blame ourselves, where it often belongs.
Holy Bible, New International Version
How does God view the blame game?, The Franklin News Post, Dwight Hayes
How to Take Responsibility & Stop Blaming Others (Even if Others are to Blame), SixWise.com
Have You Stopped Blaming Others For Your Problems? Keep Believing Ministries
© 2013 Carola Finch