Have you noticed how we tend to blame others for negative things that happen?
A basketball teams loses a big game, and it’s the referees’ fault. “Those refs made some terrible calls.
They must have been blind..” A student fails a test, and it’s the teacher’s fault. “The teacher didn’t even go over that material in class, and besides that the questions weren’t fair.” A teenager gets into trouble, and it’s the fault of his parents or the group he was with at the time. “Don’t blame me, it’s not my fault. My parents really messed me up.” A mate strays from his marriage vows, and it’s his wife’s fault. “She doesn’t give me what I need. You can’t blame me for looking elsewhere.”
The list of examples goes on and on.
Blaming others is not something new. The first man and woman, Adam and Eve, did it, too. When they ate the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, God called them into account. Adam blamed Eve. “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat” (Genesis 3:12). And, if you read that excuse carefully, Adam was even blaming God. “The woman whom You gave me . . .”
When it came Eve’s turn, she blamed the serpent. “The serpent deceived me, and I ate” (Genesis 3:13). It almost makes you feel sorry for the serpent, doesn’t it. He had no one to blame.
I am not suggesting that referees don’t make bad calls, or that a teacher’s test is always fair. I’m not saying that one’s family or peers doesn’t influence him. I’m not denying that a person’s mate can’t have a profound impact on him for good or bad. I’m not even suggesting that Eve did not contribute to Adam’s sin or that the serpent did not share in Eve’s transgression. And, I know in our own lives that people do influence us greatly.
What I am saying is quite simple. In the final analysis, I am responsible for me. I can’t go through life blaming others for my faults and failures. As Paul put it, “For each one shall bear his own load” (Galatians 6:5).
I like this story. Millard Fillmore was President when twenty men met at the Astor House in New York for dinner. Among the guests was Secretary of State, Daniel Webster. The others respected Mr. Webster’s keen intellect, and they probed his mind with questions.
Finally, one of the guests asked, ‘Mr. Webster, what is the most important thought you have ever had?” Webster did not respond immediately, and the others thought perhaps he had not heard. After a while, he said, “The most serious thought that has ever occupied my mind is my individual responsibility to God.”
It is reported that he spoke on this matter for several minutes before being overcome with emotion and excusing himself to retire to his room. Can you imagine how the others felt, as they were left to ponder that profound thought? Wouldn’t it help us all to ponder it, too?
My friends, we must avoid the blame game. I am responsible for my actions, and I will give a personal account to God for them. “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).