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Friday, June 18, 2010

Simply Irresponsible

Why is it that we try to blame others for the things we have done. It seems to be in our nature. "Look what you made me do!" is a common excuse for many a mistake. Our blaming others is a common characteristic of our fallen nature.

Avoiding the blame follows a pattern. We realize what we have done. We may be sorry that we did it but we are more concerned with the reprocussions than trying to make things right. Our innocence is stripped from us. We could repent and reveal our failure but our fallen nature demands we avoid the blame. Our first step is to hide.

Who do we hide from? From anyone who can blame us. We avoid those who will know what we have done. We will hide in what we consider a safe place. That might involve safe people or literally a safe place. Presidents have hidden in the White House or taken vacations to avoid receiving the blame. They hope that it will simply blow over. Children have hidden the broken vases they knocked over because they tried to play ball in the house. Husbands have meticulously hidden the records of emails of sinful liasons. Wives have hidden the receipts of expenditures from their husbands. The hope is that all transgressions should remain hidden.

We blame others after our sins are revealed. I have had husbands blame their wives for the adultery they committed. ("She wasn't showing me any attention!") Children blame their friends for breaking a vase. ("Johnny threw the ball; what was I supposed to do? I had to hit it!") Presidents blame their critics. ("You who want limited government are so condemning when I have given it to you.")

Blaming others never resolves anything. It makes us irresponsible. It is in all of us. It does not matter if we are big or small, anonymous or well-known, rich or poor; we avoid taking responsibility without recognizing what we have done. Taking responsibility is something that comes from a spiritual nature that reaches upward. It confesses, makes the best restitution possible and commits to avoiding new failures rather than avoiding the blame.

Yes, this goes against our fallen nature. Yes, we will find ourselves asking for forgiveness. Yes, we have to give forgiveness to understand forgiveness. Yes, we can hold ourselves and others accountable without a final condemnation. Yes, there can be restoration.

But, no; there is no restoration without taking responsibility.

Genesis 3:9-12 (NIV)
9 But the LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" 10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid." 11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" 12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me--she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."

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