John 9:2 “And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?”
It all started in the garden.
When caught red-handed, Adam blamed his wife, and Eve blamed the snake. And so it began from the beginning of time. We look for others to take the blame for our wrongdoing.
We do it because we fear the consequences.
We do it because we’ll lose the image we’ve built up for ourselves.
We do it because we cannot think of ourselves like those we view as less or inferior.
For whatever reason (and there are many!), we deflect the responsibility for our choices to someone or something else. It has become popular to play the ‘victim card,’ saying, “I did it because I am just a product of a dysfunctional home,” or, “I grew up underprivileged.”
Needless to say, it is in our spiritual DNA to want to shift the blame for our bad choices.
Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God“
In this instance, the disciples used this logic to analyze a situation that long existed in their society. Physical, mental, emotional, and intellectual defects were relegated to the cause of someone’s sin. The parent’s or their own was the standard excuse.
But we often fail to realize what Jesus pointed out.
John 9:3 “Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
Looking back, we can call to mind Romans 8:28 and apply it to this situation.
Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
In any given situation or circumstance, we must not judge too hastily, lest we become like the disciples. We may ask questions like:
“Why did God allow my baby to die, or my child to be taken?”
“Why didn’t God stop the abuse? I thought He was all-powerful?”
“Why didn’t He heal them or take away cancer?”
These and so many other questions have often gone unanswered.
One of the most surefire methods to stop me from pointing fingers is a daily, personal inventory of my own sin. It must be part of my regimen to ask God to reveal my sin because there are hidden things and things I hide from myself.
When we cherish the cleanliness of our relationship with God, sin becomes our enemy. It becomes detestable and even grows to be hated. Once you have experienced the unhindered cleanliness in your relationship with the Father, you begin to hate what takes you away from Him.
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
We ALL have at least one besetting sin. One that we do more often than others. We regard in our heart as lesser and justify that because it only hurts us, it is okay.
Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”
I have adopted the principle of keeping short accounts with God. If I sin and acknowledge it, I confess and forsake it as soon as possible or before the day ends.
Cherishing the open communication, prayer, and conversation with my Heavenly Father is something I wish never to lose. Allowing my heart to be sensitive to the guilt and shame of sin as well as the love, grace, and mercy is vital.
When I can catch myself creating excuses or shifting the blame to others, I must stop and identify why I am unwilling to accept the responsibility. We have a principle in our faith-based addiction ministry, RU Recovery, that addresses this.
“God balances guilt with blame. Accept the blame for your actions, and God will remove the guilt.”
This is based on 1 John 1:9.
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.”
He bookends this verse with two that speak of this blame game we play.
1 John 1:8 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
First – I am in denial.
1 John 1:10 “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
Second – lying.
Let the heat of guilt and shame teach us to stop and first check ourselves. Then, when we see others in situations that would cause us to play the ‘Blame Game,” may we ask God for the right response in our hearts and to the one before us who may actually need our help.