by Pastor Tim Burt
One morning I was looking for my keys. I needed them right away but couldn’t find them. That’s unusual for me because I have a habit of putting everything in its place. I asked Renee if she had seen them. She hadn’t. I could feel my heart beating faster and my face starting to flush as I was in a hurry. As Renee and I were discussing where they might be I said, Honey, I think I remember giving them to you. It really took on the form of me blaming her even though I wasn’t trying to. We both started to get anxious. I stopped myself and got quiet. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me remember where they were. Renee was helping me search for them because I had put the pressure on her like it was her fault. Suddenly the Lord reminded me exactly where I had put them. I had left them in the pocket of a sweater that I had hung the night before in our front door closet. I checked and sure enough, they were there. I sheepishly walked into the bedroom and said, Sorry honey. God just reminded me what I did with them. I didn’t mean to blame you. She was just her usual sweet self about it. I walked away thinking, I did it again. Will I ever stop doing this?!
Later that week I went to my men’s discipleship group at a local restaurant where we eat breakfast, study the Word of God and share and pray together. I told the guys the story. They all looked at me with a funny smile. Why? Because they all had their own stories of doing the same thing.
Girls, this isn’t just a guy thing. Renee has had her share of blaming that she’d admit to also. My impression from talking to numerous people is that this is a very human weakness that most fall prey to at times. Something breaks. Something goes wrong. We can’t find something or life just isn’t going our way. In those times of frustration, it’s easy to yield to the temptation to blame someone—anyone other than ourselves.
When God sent Moses to deliver the children of Israel from Egypt, the people had seen a cloud by day and towering fire by night to lead them. God did this so that they would know He appointed Moses and that He would be with them. They had seen the miracle of the plagues against Pharaoh and the Egyptians. They had seen the Red Sea part and walked through it. They had seen His power first-hand. But as they became hungry, thirsty, and tired, they also became whiny and they began to blame. Do we ever get that way? Can you say, Oh yea!
They were whining to Moses blaming him for their present discomfort. They would spout utterly irrational and false statements like, We had it better when we were in Egypt! They couldn’t remember that they were slaves that were beaten on a regular basis prior to leaving with Moses? Moses was just doing what God told him to do. People can’t directly see God so they often blame those that represent God in the earth. That happens to Pastors all the time! Now they were hungry and whining about it. Was God really going to let them starve? Of course not! They just didn’t know how to trust Him and He wanted them to learn! Finally Moses answered their blaming of him which we see in Exodus 16:8 (NLT). “Then Moses added, “The LORD will give you meat to eat in the evening and bread to satisfy you in the morning, for He has heard all your complaints against Him. What have we done? Yes, your complaints are against the LORD, not against us.” What was Moses saying? Quit blaming us!
People cast blame over and over in life. They get mad at God (which is the definition of insanity) and they often blame others for whatever is bothering them. Employees get mad at bosses because of cutbacks or changes needed to be made during economic downturns, something that neither boss nor employee is directly responsible for. The boss just has to find a way to manage it the best he can for the business and employees at the same time. Yet, the perception of how those decisions are formed and executed can easily be criticized and the blame can flow.
A doctor or surgeon is capable of making a mistake. Does this mean he’s careless or that the medical team was negligent? No but the legal industry can be a piranhas looking to blame and capitalize on any and every mistake. Soon greed ignores fair judgment and supersedes compassion and human frailty.
God wants us to learn to take responsibility for our own actions and to remember that everyone makes mistakes. We have to stop being so quick to want to assign blame. Instead, there is wisdom and blessing to be had from these two admonishments from the Lord. Proverbs 19:11 NIV says, “A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” And Proverbs 17:9 NIV says, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” The point of these two verses is that there is great blessing in becoming one who doesn’t blame but overlooks and minimizes most could-be offenses and instead has mercy.
If we really want to be Christ-like, then remember that Jesus’ love and life was for the purpose of releasing us from blame and making us blameless and sinless in God’s eyes, even when we didn’t deserve such kindness. 1 Corinthians 1:8 NLT says, “He will keep you strong right up to the end, and He will keep you free from all blame on the great day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.”
Being a blamer or accuser is really displaying the attributes of the devil. He is called the accuser of the brethren. You don’t want to be like that. So, don’t be an emotional reactionary. Instead, learn to pause, pray, and ask the Lord to help you at every uprising of anger and feeling of need to blame. The Holy Spirit in you will help you and over time, a more Christ-like and merciful character will be formed in you. It will surely help you better succeed in your love walk. And P.S…. Your spouse will really appreciate it!
Philippians 2:14-15 (NKJV) “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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