New Testing Phase

Monday, 7 November 2011

Playing the Blame Game

Blame GameOne of the sins I noticed in myself in the last couple of months, and that I needed to repent of, is that I tend always to blame others. Then I started noticing in conversations, both with unbelievers and with believers, that people are often quick to blame somebody else for some consequence. Often the event is quite insubstantial or trivial, but often it is not. For example, a man is a few minutes late for a meeting. So often he will walk in and say “Sorry I’m late, the traffic was bad” or words to that effect. Did you see what happened, the person in my example shifted the blame for being late to someone, or in this case, something else. Now he might be telling the truth in that there was a problem with traffic, he took his responsibility to be on time, and made the fault of failing that responsibility belong to somebody else.
God holds us responsible for ourselves. That is my premise and I will begin by showing you this from the bible:
We are going to look at a number of texts starting with Leviticus 5:
1"If anyone sins in that he hears a public adjuration to testify, and though he is a witness, whether he has seen or come to know the matter, yet does not speak, he shall bear his iniquity; 2or if anyone touches an unclean thing, whether a carcass of an unclean wild animal or a carcass of unclean livestock or a carcass of unclean swarming things, and it is hidden from him and he has become unclean, and he realizes his guilt; 3or if he touches human uncleanness, of whatever sort the uncleanness may be with which one becomes unclean, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and realizes his guilt; 4or if anyone utters with his lips a rash oath to do evil or to do good, any sort of rash oath that people swear, and it is hidden from him, when he comes to know it, and he realizes his guilt in any of these;
In this text, God is outlining a case where a person has done something in ignorance, and suddenly he comes to an understanding of his situation. Now read verse 5 and 6
5when he realizes his guilt in any of these and confesses the sin he has committed, 6he shall bring to the LORD as his compensation for the sin that he has committed, a female from the flock, a lamb or a goat, for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him for his sin
Do you see that God holds the person responsible for his actions and expects him to make an atonement for his sin when he repents. Now for the Christian, that atonement is already made for us in Jesus Christ, for both sins we know about, and those we don’t know about. Even so, it remains the same, when we realise something sinful about ourselves, we know that we are responsible for it, even in ignorance. Lets look at another text.
Galatians 6:1 – 2: 1Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
I give these verses for context, namely that if a believer is caught in sin, they should be restored by the church, then God commands believers specifically to bear up one another’s burdens in the context of a sinning brother. Now read verse 5:
5For each will have to bear his own load.
Paul is clearly saying that each person, will bear responsibility for their own actions, specifically their sins. One final verse.
Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."

Ultimate responsibility. John lists a number of ways a person who has committed a sin is described. Those who have lied, worshiped idols, been involved in witchcraft and immoral sexual behaviour are all condemned to hell. Not a nice thought but the ultimate end of any person who has been responsible for committing a sin. Thanks be to God, that there is forgiveness of sins in Christ Jesus, that we might not go to the “lake that burns with fire and sulfure”.


With this in mind, let us consider the human condition. We are in denial. We either deny that we are responsible for our sins, saying for example “I’m not as bad as so and so” (usually Hitler) or “the devil made me do it”; or we deny that we are accountable for our sins, denying God as judge. In the first case. We also deny that we are responsible for ourselves, even in a none sinful context. Think of the child who breaks something, and then immediately says, “It wasn’t me it was…” or the person, as I cited earlier, who blamed traffic for being late. It is also said, that if you are in a car accident, you never admit responsibility even if you are clearly at fault.
This problem started early in human history. When we read Genesis 3, that when God questions Adam and Eve they both push responsibility onto someone else. Adam for example says "The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate." (Gen 3:12) In other words, “its her fault, and ultimately Yours God, for giving her to me, that I ate the fruit.” He pushes the blame on her. She then pushes the blame on the snake. (Gen 3:13) Notice that God holds each of the three parties responsible for their own actions and gives each a punishment, a curse. But because of His grace He gives the man and woman a promise for future redemption (Gen 3:15) and none for the snake.

So ever since the first day of sin in the world, men and women have been blaming others for their problems. And so do we. Listen out for it, people will very often shift the blame onto someone or thing else, even if the action is perfectly innocent. Often the problem is pride, we don’t want to look bad in front of anybody, we’d rather have someone else do that. Pride is a sin we need to repent of.



How then should we respond with knowledge? first off, our response should be to remember the gospel, and that Jesus Christ saved us despite our pride and our many other sins. When we realise that we are blaming other people for our problems think on this verse:

2 Timothy 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel,

Or one of the many other verses in the bible that calls us to remember.

Next we should repent of our sins. Confess and forsake then, put them to death, and in this case, begin owning responsibility for what we are responsible for. Take note in your conversation when you do this, and at that moment, stop, and accept responsibility.

Finally grow in grace, sanctification as in all areas is almost never instantaneous, but persevere until that day when we see Christ.

Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

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