Blame game: how long?
Then the man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” (Genesis 3: 12)
One day I entered into the seminar room to teach final year Bachelor of Divinity students. In class, I observed that one of the arms of a revolving chair was broken. I asked the students ‘who broke it!’ One student promptly replied, ‘must be some first-year student.’
He blamed his junior for the cause without first verifying it.
Bishop Professor R.B. Lal (Vice-Chancellor of Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology & Sciences) said in an address to University staff and students this year (15 August) that the blame game has become a part and parcel of our society.
Even after natural disasters, opposition party leaves no stones unturned to blame the ruling party. Instead of coming together and working for the common cause political leaders get engaged in mud-slinging which is severely affecting the growth of our societies and nations at large.
Betrayal, blaming others, backbiting, justifying wrong deeds is a common practice even among some Christians. Many Christian homes, institutions, and organizations are suffering from this problem.
Does God approve such acts? In Genesis 2:17, God instructed Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and bad but still they ate. When God inquired Adam, ‘Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?’ Adam admitted his fault, but he quickly blamed woman as well as God for the cause. When God inquired woman, she blamed serpent. They must have thought that by putting blame on others they may get an exemption from the punishment but unfortunately, both of them were condemned because they were responsible for their own acts.
We always blame others for our own sinful deeds. But God knows our hearts and is not fooled by our words. It is true that Satan is the source of sin but God has given us the commandments, consciousness and will to act. It is difficult to admit our wrong deeds or to apologize for our mistakes because of our own egos. Bible says in Romans 2:1 that those who pass judgment on others have no excuse and by judging others they condemn themselves because they who pass judgment also commit the same act.
It is due to the pride of life and arrogance by which many hide their wrongdoings and blame others. They pretend as if they have not done anything wrong. Such people not only deceive themselves but also others.
Today there is no real concept of moral problems. Any action considered wrong in a certain context is condoned and even lauded in a different context. If the Church people and its leaders are also engaged in this task, then how we will be able to set an example for the rest of the world.
In Mattew’s gospel (7:3-5) Jesus said: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
Jesus has instructed us that we need to examine ourselves before we blame others. It is easy to criticize and condemn others, but to live up to the biblical standards what Christ has designed for us is difficult. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? (James 3:11).
Henry Jowett writes, ‘the way to moral and spiritual health is to direct my criticisms upon myself. I must stand in the dock, and hear the grave indictment of my own soul.’ We are called to uplift, encourage and build others. It is by following the footsteps of Christ we will be able to keep our hearts and minds pure.
Blaming is not a right act. By blaming others, one cannot prove itself as blameless unless God counts that person blameless. By accepting our own faults, we conquer over pride and God forgives our sins by seeing our humble attitude.
The Bible says, ‘when anyone becomes aware that they are guilty in any of these matters, they must confess in what way they have sinned.’ (Leviticus 5:5). When Prophet Nathan went to King David and convened about God’s anger over David’s sinful act of committing adultery with Bathsheba and killing her innocent husband, David confessed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. (2 Samuel 12:13)”.
Once we acknowledge our sins and promise not to repeat it again then our ‘God is faithful and will forgive us our sins, and purify us from all unrighteousness.’ Jesus is a perfect example. Although, He was blameless yet He never blamed others and humbly took our sins upon himself on the cross so that we may be cleansed from impurities.
Honesty about our sin brings forgiveness.
Julie Ackerman Link