The Blame Game

Saturday night at supper illustrated the problem with mankind.  While we were talking about how much the kids fight–the eldest two in particular–my seven-year-old son said, “It’s not our fault; it’s because of Adam and Eve.”

Now there’s a practice which dates back to the garden itself!

“That woman….”

“The serpent…”

I suppose this is the reason why God allowed us to make mirrors.  They serve another purpose than our simply being able to see if we look presentable.  Mirrors are–in fact–a window to the soul.

Have you ever stood and looked at yourself in a mirror–I mean stared into your own eyes?  Yeah, I know.  It creeps me out as well.  Often the sentiment is:  “That’s all you got?”  In reality, I think disappointment is what I experience (not with my outward appearance, but either with the state of my inner man or with my circumstances).  I know–I should make an appointment with a counselor.  Tell me something I don’t already know!  But you know what I am talking about, don’t you? You often feel it too.  It isn’t necessarily comfortable dealing with ourselves.  It is much more easy to point the finger at others; to play the blame game.

Listen.  I agree with Dayton.  Adam and Eve rate pretty high up on my “jerk list.”  Now that I think about it, their names appear just below mine and Satan.  It is true that I inherited a sinful nature from Adam.  However, in Christ I am now a new man (2 Cor. 5:17).  I no longer have to sin.  When I do, the blame is deservedly my own.  Sin is a choice.

Several days ago, I vented in an email to a buddy.  His response to me included a list.  Allow me to share his first two points:

  1. Repent
  2. Repent

Later in his response, my friend gave me permission to vent in his direction.  Truth be told, however, I needed to do some repenting!  I wasn’t trusting God.  I was complaining.  I wasn’t praising.  I was ranting.  Been there?  I am convinced that if I would have been Adam, I would have sinned without Eve’s help.  I probably would have initiated the visit with the devil!

My point?  I think I have one.  We would do well to remember that we are sinners, and sinners naturally play the blame game professionally.  Rather than pefect our skill of blaming, we need, instead, to take a good look at ourselves.  We are guilty as charged!  Therein we find our constant need of a Savior! And without Jesus we would be left “high and dry”!  But we are not “without Jesus”!  He came, suffered, died, rose and ascended, and is ready to aid all who call upon Him!  And so I pray:

Thou God of all grace,
Thou hast given me a Saviour,
produce in me a faith to live by Him,
to make Him all my desire,
all my hope,
all my glory.
May I enter Him as my refuge,
build on Him as my foundation,
walk in Him as my way,
follow Him as my guide,
conform to Him as my example,
receive His instructions as my prophet,
rely on His intercession as my high priest,
obey Him as my king.
May I never be ashamed of Him or His words,
but joyfully bear His reproach,
never displease Him by unholy or imprudent conduct,
never count it a glory if I take it patiently
when buffeted for a fault,
never make the multitude my model,
never delay when Thy Word invites me to advance.
May Thy dear Son preserve me from this present world,
so that its smiles never allure,
nor its frowns terrify,
nor its vices defile,
nor its errors delude me.
May I feel that I am a stranger and a pilgrim on earth,
declaring plainly that I seek a country,
my title to it becoming daily more dear,
my meetness for it more perfect,
my foretastes of it more abundant;
and whatsoever I do may it be done in the Saviour’s name.

The selection above was taken from The Saviour in The Valley of Vision: A collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions (Arthur Bennett, ed., The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975).

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