Originally Posted by Mike Young December 2006
This week in The Quest for Authentic Manhood we have been talking about the Heart Wound. It’s pretty clear from scripture that none of us were born choosing to do good or putting the needs of others before our own. If you have children you have certainly seen that you don’t have to teach them how to be selfish and manipulative. That’s pre-programmed into their little systems. On the contrary, we have to spend a lot of energy teaching them how to be good.
One of the things that we should learn at some point in our childhood is to accept responsibility for ourselves and our behaviors.
But instead of accepting responsibility for who we are and what we do, we often play a little game that has been around since life began. We play the “Blame Game”.
I’m sure you’ve seen it before. You’ve probably played it yourself recently. Let me explain…
If I say something to Ben, our five year-old, about the mess in the playroom, he will look beyond all the little pieces of paper he has dropped on the floor while making Christmas cards and exclaim that Hannah messed up the room with her dolls. If Tim leaves his lunchbox at school it will likely be because the teacher sent him on an errand to the office and he didn’t have time to go back to get it. If Zachery trips and falls while walking through the house it will be because his brother spilled something on the floor. See how it goes?
You can play too. If you are late to work, it can be because your wife forgot to set the alarm clock. If you don’t perform well on a particular project, it can be because your boss didn’t give you all the information you need. If your child gets caught in a lie at school, you can explain that he’s upset because his dog is sick. If you are spending way too much money and your debt is out of control, you can say that you don’t get paid enough and you deserve more. See, it really isn’t difficult to find someone or something else on which to blame nearly every failure.
The problem is this, people who play the “Blame Game” all the time develop a sad bitterness toward life and spend so much time complaining and blaming others that they don’t have much energy left to really do something admirable.
Those folks are destined to a life that is mediocre at best. They are the ones who complain constantly about the people around them and never do anything themselves because others are holding them back.
Where did it all start?
Well, the blame game has been around since Adam and Eve. Hopefully, you’ll recall that this scene from Genesis 3 where God searches out Adam after he and Eve have eaten fruit form the tree of Knowledge of good and evil. When questioned by God, Adam blamed Eve. Then, Eve blamed the serpent. Game On!
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten form the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Genesis 3:8-13
We all know at least one person like this, perhaps even more. As a matter of fact, you may be one of these people. Could I encourage you to reflect on how you handle the challenges of life?