We see it evidenced in our nation’s capitol, our state capitols, and in our local governments. No one seems to have the courage to step up and take responsibility. It’s always the fault of the other party. Many politicians don’t even mind blaming the electorate, just don’t point a finger their way!
It is no less prominent in our homes. Little Johnny didn’t plunge his hand into grandpa’s birthday cake. It must have been his little sister, the dog, his imaginary friend, or even an alien. He pleads his case even though the evidence is painting on his face and fingers in milk chocolate frosting.
In marriage counseling, so many times I have heard a sentence begin, “Well, I know I’m not perfect but…” The next few sentence will be designed to show that the problems in their marriage can be laid at the feet of their spouse. In other words, I have flaws and failures but they are nothing compared to those of my husband or wife.
I don’t know too many people who who step forward to say, “It’s my fault. I did it. I’m sorry… now how can I help to repair the damage.” No, that’s a rarity. Perhaps it is our pride. Perhaps it is our insecurity. Most certainly it is birthed from our sinful nature inherited from that first couple. All of us play the blame game from time to time, and even pastors and church leaders aren’t exempt.
Since playing the blame game is something most of us have done from time to time and some of us have become quite proficient in, what can we do to resist this temptation? First, admit to yourself that you’re compounding your error by deflecting responsibility to someone else. Second, admit to God that this action flows from a lack of love for the other person and an abundance of pride on your part AND repent. Third, come clean with the people involved. That’s right… apologize to them for what you’ve done. Yes, that can be humbling, but it is necessary. Finally, commit to take responsibility for your own actions in the future.
The truth is, in the blame game there is no winner. The only way to win is not to play.