It has been a problem since the beginning of mankind.
When God spoke to Adam about eating the forbidden fruit, Adam blamed both Eve and God. “The woman you gave me, she gave me some fruit …” (so it wasn’t his fault). When God turned to Eve she blamed Satan, “The serpent deceived me …” (so it wasn’t her fault either). (Genesis 3:11-13, CEB.)
Blaming others and not taking responsibility for our own actions result in two things: Our problems don’t get solved. And we become weak and useless.
This is true in the natural world and in our spiritual life.
Even though I know this, I still did exactly the same thing as Adam did in the beginning.
Doing the same
During a small staff meeting at work, a fellow teacher suddenly noticed that I had made a mistake and booked her to teach two different classes at the same time. This created a lot of problems. I said to her:
“But you told me it would be OK …”
We tried over an hour to work out what we could do but did not find a solution. I went home very worried about the whole situation and I was angry with myself that I had blamed her for something that I knew was my responsibility to double check.
I couldn’t sleep that night as I was still trying to find a solution to an impossible situation, so I prayed. I prayed to God and admitted that I had tried to blame someone else for my own mistake, and I asked for help to find a solution. Then I did what I should have done in the staff meeting, I sent a text message to the teacher to say that I was sorry.
“I am sorry for the mess my actions have caused.”
As soon as I sent the message I came to rest, and I could sleep. When I woke up in the morning a solution to the problem just came into my mind. It was a perfect solution.
When I told the teacher, she said, “Why didn’t we think of this yesterday?”
The solution did not come to us the day before because I needed to take the blame myself and say that I was really sorry. I had to humble myself before God and admit I was wrong and that I was just trying to avoid looking bad before others and that people should know that I also make mistakes.
The truth shall make you free
We do not need to be afraid of doing the right thing. When we make a mistake we mustn’t make it worse by trying not to look bad in front of others. If we accept the blame for problems that are our responsibility, then we cleanse out the root of sin that is still in us, even in us as disciples - in this case caring so much about what others think of me. But God can’t use people who hide from the truth about themselves.
“If you remain in my word, then you are truly my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32 (WEB).
If we always cleanse out the sin that God shows us, we remain close to God, and we learn how to hear and obey the Spirit in all the small things of our daily lives. Then we make no excuses anymore for our own thoughts and feelings that go against God’s will, and we become people of whom Satan is afraid because he knows we will not hide from the truth just to protect ourselves.