It’s not my fault — or is it?
The Women’s Ministry at my church is studying The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero. As I accepted the assignment to teach chapter 5 “Quit Blaming” I knew it was a divine set-up.
From a spiritual standpoint, a funny thing happens on the way to deliverance. We get a good look at the Strong Deliverer, but we also get a good look at ourselves. As I prepared to teach the class, I saw how my tendency to blame was really self-pity on steroids.
When I am unable or unwilling to handle difficult emotions, it is a lot easier to hand-off my responsibility to someone else. Blaming is a convenient way to cope but it diminishes my character.
Take this quick quiz to see if we share this dis-ease.
Do you have a mental script that starts with “I can’t…” and includes “because he, she, or they…?” If you answered yes, welcome to the blame club! And yet, we can cut the cord on this membership as we take a good look at the truth.
Indeed, a funny thing happens on the way to deliverance. We see the Strong Deliverer, but we also see how we’re hindering healthy relationships. Whenever a blamer lists the reasons why they’re stuck, it’s always someone else’s fault.
As a salute to my deliverance, here are a few of my most recent blames: My atypical stop in my fitness routine was because I didn’t have the new equipment I wanted. My slackness towards my writing goals was due to the hurtful comments of others. If you’re missing important goals or misinterpreting relationships check for the blame virus; it’s a sneaky little thing.
Situations may disappoint us or people may disregard our feelings. But if we blame them for our lack of empowerment, we invite them to control us too. Under the control of disappointment we may choose to let go of what is crucial. Controlled by the pain of being disregarded we may let go of the desire to forgive.
When I’m a blamer, I live re-actively – always scrambling for a reason to explain my faults or failures. But as a believer in Jesus Christ I’m meant to live proactively – always having an answer for the hope that lives within me (1 Peter 3:15).
Blamers need love but blamers also need accountability. Blaming is a weapon that maintains misery; but accountability is a tool to correct a circumstance. Accountability sets a standard and adheres to it. However, blame shifts and shames at every turn of a challenge.
Our moments towards deliverance may be many or few, but if we stop short of being delivered the results are tragic. If playing the blame game is no longer fun for you, here’s some good news: whether we find faults with ourselves or with others, the core of faith in Christ is in finding forgiveness. Deliverance is ours as we take responsibility and forsake self-pity. Knowing what to take and what to forsake brings hope to my heart and joy to my soul.
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” – 1 Peter 3:15 NIV