Tuesday, 17 December 2013
The blame game
When God visited Adam in the Garden of Eden and wanted him to define his current situation and standing with Him, He asked Adam, “where art thou?”
Every day in the midst of situations and circumstances of life, we are confronted with this demand to tell God where we are; our location and the choices we have made. We are confronted to define our standing in our relationship with Him and the ways we have chosen to live. For Adam, God was not unaware of what Adam had done. He was only requesting for a response from him. Adam’s answer was the beginning of the blame game in this world. He acknowledged that he was naked, afraid and in hiding. He accepted the fact that he had eaten the Forbidden Fruit but shifted the responsibility for his actions to his wife and God, "The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Gen 3:12. When God asked the woman, she shifted the blame to the Serpent, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Gen 3:13. Read the story in Gen. 3.
The blame game is a game that we all instinctively play as fallen human beings. We do not want to take responsibilities for our choices and actions. We want somebody else to carry the burdens we have created. We do not want to be blamed. We want to enjoy freedom from blame. Nobody wants to be caught. The unfortunate thing is that the freedom we seek from blame actually drives us into more serious bondage and deeper into the cycle of guilt.
Now, in the family, there are some men that if they abuse their wives, the woman is the cause. If they are caught in adultery, the wife is the problem. If they are over reacting and making the atmosphere in the family uncomfortable, their wife is the cause; if they refuse to join their spouse in devotion, she is the reason because she made him angry. They never look inward to accept the fact that they are the architect of their actions and they are responsible for their choices.
It is not only men who fail to take the responsibility for their actions in the family. There are women that insult their husbands and refuse to submit to them, yet they claim their husband is the cause; if they refuse to pray with him, he is to be blamed; if they shout at him, nag and make the home a mini hell for everybody, their spouse is to be blamed.
We all shift blames not only to our spouses, we also blame our leaders, both political and spiritual. We blame our pastors and our pastors in turn blame the members of congregation. Pastors blame their bishops and General Overseers, while the bishops come back to blame the junior pastors. We blame our parents and parents in turn blame their children. We blame our friends and enemies and the system in place and the cycle continues.
The zenith of cowardice in the blame game is reached when we push the responsibility for our actions to somebody who cannot defend himself in our presence or someone who is absent or dead, just to make sure we are free from immediate blame. Worst still, when we are finally trapped by the consequences of our choices and actions, we blame Satan because we know nobody will invite him to defend himself. Hence for everything, there is something or someone to blame if we look around for one.
The truth is that in this loop and cycle of blames, there is someone who is conspicuously missing and incidentally he is the only one that needs to take responsibility for most of the blame – YOU. Freedom starts when you are able to say, I am the one. Solution and the ability to confront our situation come when we break the cycle of the blame game and take responsibility for our actions. Change can only occur in us when we quit the blame game and look at the man in the mirror and tell him, ‘you are responsible for all the choices you have made in life’. We all have the opportunity to choose our response to a provocation. Whatever we have done is what we have chosen to do and the way we have chosen to respond is totally in our control.
Sitting down playing the blame game is actually a posture and position of abject weakness. When we shift blames, we deny ourselves the opportunity to change for the better; the opportunity to receive strength and grace; the opportunity to learn and make better choices and ultimately the opportunity to really be free. At the end of the day, if you continue the blame game, one person remains in the prison of defeat and guilt and that person is you. When next you are confronted with the question, “where art thou?” will you stand up and take responsibility and say, ‘I am here. This is my current situation’? Or will you keep running from blame? At the end of the day, when we stand before God, this same question concerning our standing in our relationship with God will still confront us. Shifting the blame to anybody will not save us from the consequences of our actions. God’s response to the blame game Adam and Eve played is very instructive to us today. None of them escaped the consequences of their actions despite the fact that they shifted the blame for the bad choices they made to someone else and refused to own up.