Why do we play the blame game? We find ourselves exposed and we either run or blame others. The team at work gets a low performance score: “It’s not me. It’s ———“. Your child says something inappropriate in school: ” He must have learned this from his father.” Or you do not do a good job at something: ” I didn’t have the support I needed to do it well.” There are countless ways we blame shift trying to take ourselves off the hook of feeling ashamed.
Blame and shame seem to partner together. If we are embarrassed or ashamed and wish to deflect the negative situation from ourselves we blame others. But why?
As Christians, we too fall prey to this and it’s worth examining ways to take responsibility for our own actions. Recently I observed my grandchildren fighting over who forgot to do something. They knew that trouble was brewing for the guilty party and pretty soon they were into full blown shaming and blaming.
So what do we do about it? Over the years, I have discovered a way to force myself to own responsibility, a way to help me check my motives when difficulty arises with someone else. Before I approached them I asked myself the question: ‘What is my motive?’ This is somewhat like King David who penned these words:
Search my heart God and see if there is any offensive way in me and lead me in everlasting life. (Psalm 139)
Stopping the blame game starts with an exam of your own heart. Is it easy? No. Do I like to do it? No. Do I need to do this? Yes. It is the easiest way to keep our motives pure and our hearts soft. It is the best way to assume responsibility for our own actions and not pass the blame to another person.
This morning, as you begin a new week, let’s determine together to not blame others but to seek the Lord to purify our own hearts. Dealing with issues this way is a game changer in our relationships with co-workers, family members, friends, and spouses. Try it. I’d love to hear from you how it goes.