The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
When we blame someone for our actions, it is as good as admitting that we are not in control of our words, thoughts and feelings. We will lose objectivity and our ability to look at the real issues affecting our relationship. This was what Adam did, he blamed Eve and blamed God for giving him Eve in the first place. Eve, in turn, blamed the serpent.
While blaming may free us from taking personal responsibility to change the way we think, act, rightly own up to our mistakes and make amends, it also cripples our ability to grow and build healthy relationships. We become caught up in an endless cycle of hurt, anger and disappointment.
When you use someone’s behaviour to justify your reactions, you are actually giving all your power away to that person. It does not make you better but bitter. Truth is, nothing gets fixed when you are entrenched in your own insecurities and false sense of entitlement.
Jesus never blamed anyone when he took the blame for everyone’s sins on the cross. Though His death was most unjustified, it justly ended the enmity we have with God and each other. If God no longer holds us accountable for our sin, we have no reason to hold others’ sin against them either. This frees us to initiate forgiveness and reconciliation.
Consider these words of the Apostle Paul:
13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Forgiveness is not about whether the person deserves it or not. We don’t wait to forgive someone until they feel sorry or remorseful. Rather, forgiveness stops the pain of blaming and takes away the excuse of remaining a victim.
The strength to forgive others comes from the revelation and realisation of how much we have been forgiven by God. Though God was the offended party, God sought to resolve the sinful tension through Christ instead of carrying out His righteous judgment on us. Without this breakthrough gift of grace, we remained as shattered people.
By taking deliberate steps of faith through resting in Jesus, we can stop playing the blame game and free ourselves of this burden of toxic brokenness. This opens the possibility of healing and transformation within and around us.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.