The Blame Game

Blame is as old as the hills. It goes back to Adam and Eve, the clueless guy blaming his fall on the woman, and she in turn pointing her finger at the serpent. If the snake had any fingers he would have pointed at the fruit on the tree. Finger-pointing is kinda like finger-painting, trying to make a mess of what is clear to the casual observer.

Taking responsibility is becoming an extinct sign of maturity. Scripture tells us that we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In other words, not a single one of us is perfect and worthy to be in the presence of an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent God. But, just like those who tried to build a tower all the way to the heavens in Babel, we want to believe in our infallibility and capability to do anything and be anyone. Taking the blame for mistakes knocks that self-made tower down and causes us to admit who we really are.

None of us like doing that!

And so finger-pointing and excuse-creating have become the norms. Each one of us encounters it a multitude of times each day in our dealings with the world and the situations of our routines. Higher gas prices are cramping our budget because of something that has happened thousands of miles away from us. Notice the subtle finger-pointing in that statement, as opposed to the idea of the fact that I have become so accustomed to the consumption of fuel in my vehicle that I don’t even think about the idea of reducing the number of miles I drive.

Elected officials in Washington working together doesn’t make for dramatic headlines. Progress on policies doesn’t seem to be a page turner. Better to blame those on the other side of the aisle because they’re going to blame their opponents.

Personal injury lawyers are making a mint with all of the “blame games” going on. It’s dangled in front of the audience like a luxury life preserver. Someone must be to blame…at some time…somewhere…if I think about it long enough.

Not following the rules that were agreed upon has been translated into meaning that the rules are unfair. A defeated club basketball team had its coach and parents attacking the referees because it was the people wearing the stripes that were to blame for the fact that their players couldn’t make a left-handed layup.

Our personal debt made as a result of our own decisions is someone else’s fault. Our broken relationships are the fault of too many demands at work, or cross words that were shouted because of disagreements, or because of feuding extended families.

The game of blame is like a winter storm. It blankets everyone, but we have been led to believe it can be shoveled away. It almost like I expect there to always be a Jesus to take the blame upon himself. His crucifixion on Golgotha offered us the possibility of redemption, of a clearing of the slate, but some of us missed the connection between Jesus atoning for our sins and our confession of our sins. We’re like the criminal who gets excused from his offense but instead of the changing of his ways he goes out and commits the same crime again.

Finger-pointing is our nature. Maybe today we’ll remember what my mom used to say to me. When you point your finger at someone there’s four others pointing back at you.

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