Stop the Blame Game
Genesis 3: 12
We start playing the blame game before we ever begin school.
A three-year-old falls off his highchair while eating dinner.
He picks himself up off the floor, and beats the seat of the chair, and cries
"Mean old chair, you made me fall off!"
He has already learned to play the blame game.
The blame game is a most destructive game.
Every time something goes wrong, it seems that we try to blame someone or something.
John, chapter 9, tells the story of Jesus' interaction with the man who had been blind from birth.
The disciples wanted to know, "Who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
In other words, they were asking Jesus, "Who's to blame?"
Everyone knows that we have to blame someone.
We have to play the blame game.
Here is a man who is a drunkard.
The big question is, whose fault is it?
Is it his own?
Did his wife drive him to drink?
Is it his parent's fault?
Or take a couple who is getting a divorce.
Immediately friends or family start choosing up sides.
They are ready to play the blame game.
The blame game is a popular game and it is a destructive game.
It never heals -- it always hurts!
It never repairs relationships.
It only destroys relationships.
It never unites -- it only divides.
It never builds -- it always tears apart.
It never solves a problem.
It only compounds the problem.
Jesus came to stop the blame game.
In response to His disciples who wanted to know who was to blame, who was at fault,
Jesus said in essence, "Don't play the blame game.
Instead ask, how can we help this man?
Where does he go from here?
How can we improve this situation?"
The way of Jesus is the best way.
There are those who blame God for their misfortunes!
As I was growing up I had a friend who lived up the block from me.
We played in his house and and often played in his garage.
His family and my family attended the same church.
His father was an usher in our church.
His father would often be in the garage while we played.
I had heard his father curse and use the name of God in in vain.
One morning my mother gave me the news that my friend's father had died.
I went up to visit my friend and found him with his mother.
I couldn't believe it when she blamed God for his death.
Even at my age I had seen how God had blessed them in so many ways,
and yet, she blamed God for his death.
She stated that she would never be back in church.
And as long as I knew her, she never attended church again.
I wish I could have said some things to her that I know now to be so true.
I would have said such things as:
"The rain falls on the just and on the unjust."
"It's not how long a person lives, but how he lives. It's the quality of life that counts."
"This life is only temporary. The best is yet to come!"
"Life is not fair. There are many unjust things that happen to us in this life,
but God will straighten out all these things for those who love Him and are called
according to His purposes." (Romans 8:28)
We can triumph over tragedy with God's help.
We should be grateful that God is working in our behalf to bring good out of bad.
We must stop blaming others.
When we blame another person, we're playing judge and God.
This is a task for which none of us is qualified.
Blaming others is all too often a copout.
It can be a coverup for our own deficiencies that we are unwilling to face or admit.
I read of a pastor is talking with a young couple.
The wife declared bitterly, "I'm absolutely convinced that my husband is cheating on me."
Of course the husband wasn't happy with her remarks.
The pastor trying to tone down the bitterness of her accusation ask softly, "How do you know?"
She replied hatefully, "Because he has been stealing from his overtime pay.
I know he has been stealing, and I demand to know what he has been doing with it."
For several months this young wife had been holding this suspicion
inside herself and had allowed it to build up, until it just poured out in the form of this accusation.
This suspicion had caused her to become very cold and very unloving to her husband.
The pastor turned to her husband, and asked, "What response do you have to your wife's accusation?"
He reached down into his pocket and pulled out his billfold.
He answered, "It's all here."
He took it out and threw it on the desk.
Then he said, "I've been saving this for three months so I could buy Betty a special Christmas gift
that I've been wanting her to have!"
The wife had jumped to the wrong conclusion.
Her bitterness had been stored up for all these months.
She had been playing the blame game, and results were disastrous on their marriage.
When they stopped playing the blame game, understanding replaced misunderstanding,
and trust replaced mistrust.
If your marriage is shaky, ask yourself, "Am I playing the blame game."
Don't play the blame game.
Look at yourself, and determine what you can do to improve your marriage,
then your marriage will improve.
If you are in the wrong, be willing to admit to the other person that you are.
Tell the other person that you're sorry, and that will help to heal the relationship.
Man is never a failure until he blames somebody else.
Blaming others is as old as Adam.
Adam explained his sin to God by saying, "The woman made me do it." (Genesis 3: 12)
Eve blamed the whole calamity on the serpent, "The serpent made me do it." (Genesis 3: 13)
The blame another only compounds the wrong; it doesn't solve the problem.
It seems that the more wrong we have committed, the greater the temptation we have to blame someone else.
It takes men and women of the right kind of character to stand up and admit their mistakes.
When a person plays the blame game, it is a sign that it's time for that person to come clean.
It's time to come clean with God, and to be honest with himself.
Stop the coverup!
It will only increase the difficulty.
There is only one healthy way to clear a guilty conscience, and that is to confess our mistakes.
Stop making excuses!
Face up to your wrongdoing!
Openly confess to God, and forgiveness is completely and immediately yours.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us
from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1: 9)
When you are wrong, admit it.
When you are right, don't rub it in.
All too often, we do just the opposite.
We want to prove who is right and who is wrong.
Of course, we are right and the other person is wrong.
This kind of attitude will not build a good relationship.
Fighting over who is right will damage a relationship.
It tears down the other person, and it tears apart the relationship, and it tears up a person who does it.
We can save ourselves a lot of heartache by never pointing out another person's sins,
and never pointing out where we are right and they are wrong.
Confess your own sins -- not those of another.
Stop blaming yourself!
I have good news!
Jesus was nailed to a cross so that you could stop nailing yourself to a cross.
This truth will heal!
Jesus took all your punishments when He died on the cross.
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:
the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5)
When Jesus died on the cross of Calvary,
He took our failures, our sins, our shortcomings, and the punishment that we deserved.
So, to go on punishing ourselves and beating ourselves down for something that we have done
or have failed to do right is to fail to accept what Jesus did for us when He took our place on the cross.
This verse will free us: "There is therefore no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus."
Too many people have become their own judge, jury and prosecutor continuing to inflict blow
upon blow on themselves.
Nothing can drag down one's self-love more than the depressing recall of shameful deeds or failures.
It serves no good to keep going over past mistakes.
It is a burden too heavy for anyone to carry.
It will result in nervousness, acute anxiety, and mental depression.
It will destroy your confidence.
Believe that Christ Jesus took upon Himself all your punishment when He died upon the cross.
Accept that, and be thankful.
Although it may be difficult to keep self, despairing memories from flooding your mind,
don't give them a welcome place.
You don't have to open the door for them.
Shut the door in their face by saying, "God has taken care of it."
God has forgiven you -- now, forgive yourself!
Forgive yourself for the unwise decisions that you have made.
Forgive yourself for the selfish things you have done and said.
Forgive yourself for the times that you have let yourself down.
Forgive yourself for the times you have let your family and your friends down.
Right now, affirm this truth: Christ lives within me.
Christ has forgiven me, so I will forgive myself!
Stand up straight and tall.
For Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
Go and play the blame game no more!
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
you mail Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org