Jill Jarrell Newsome
The Blame Game
The day we brought Ivey home from the hospital, Sarah was so excited to be a big sister. Ivey was in her carrier and Sarah was standing over her. Mom was in the room with them when she saw Sarah pinch Ivey and Ivey started crying. Mom asked Sarah why she did that. Sarah quickly replied, “she hit me first.” We learn the blame game early!
And the blame game is not new. All you have to do is read the story of Genesis, in the beginning of time. Adam and Eve were given specific instructions from God not to eat from a certain tree. Eve took a bite of fruit from that tree and then Adam did the same. Shame came over them because of their sin so they hid and covered themselves with fig leaves.
When God asked where they were they did not answer, they hid. I guess they had never heard the saying, “you can run but you can never hide” from God. When God found them he asked Adam what happened. Genesis 3: 12, “The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” Adam first blamed “the woman”, no longer his wife or partner. Next he even blamed God saying, “the woman YOU put here with me.” Now it was Eve’s turn. Genesis 3: 13, “Then the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’”
We do the same thing when we are confronted about our sin. We first point out what we did right in hopes that will be a distraction from what we did wrong. God gave us His Spirit to empower us. He gave us His Word to strengthen us. He gave us His Son to pick us up when we fall. When we choose to sin, it is our own fault. No one else's.
How can we blame the devil when we have the power of Jesus Christ living inside of us!? 1 John 4: 4, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” Jesus is greater than the one who is in the world! As cunning and crafty as Satan is, he is no match to how powerful Jesus is!
When someone hurts us we want revenge but our pain is not with the person but with the devil. Ephesians 6: 12, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Satan is evil and the only way to get back at him is with good. He wants us to fight evil with evil - that is why he puts those voices in our head reminding us of how mean and hurtful that person was. He wants us to stew (southern for a state of great agitation or anxiety)! When we are angry and bitter he has accomplished his mission. We are to be good even to our enemies. When we have an unforgiving attitude he moves right in and sets up house because he is at home! When we have an unforgiving heart it affects all aspects of our life. It affects our joy, our relationships, our health, our confidence, our sleep, our peace and even our prayer life.
Romans 12: 20-21, “On the contrary: ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” When we mess up we must not dig deeper but accept the blame for what we are responsible for. When we do that we build character and we feel cleansed. This continual cleansing will keep us close to God. John 8: 31-32, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’”
Let’s pray that we “see the best in people, a heart that forgives the worst, a mind that forgets the bad, and a soul that never loses faith in God.”