My wife read me a blog post the other day about a lady who was doing some shopping at her local grocery store. She was minding her own business looking at some fresh produce when all of a sudden a 70-year-old man slammed his cart into her and rolled over her foot. One of her toes began bleeding profusely and she was in a good deal of pain. An employee ran to get some paper towels to soak up all the blood. The older man asked if she was ok. Being honest and bold, the lady replied, “No sir, actually I am not okay. You just slammed your cart into me, and ran over my foot with your cart, and I’m bleeding and in pain.” At this point the elderly man made an unforgettable statement. He said, “Well if you were wearing proper footwear it wouldn’t have happened.”
This story has one of those “I can’t believe he just said that” moments. Did he honestly believe this entire event was a direct result of improper footwear? I‘m not a huge fashion buff, but I don’t think steel-toed boots are very popular for women right now…or ever have been for that matter. When I heard this story, I wondered, “Why would he say such a thing?” The reason is all too clear: he was trying to shift the blame.
People constantly try to shift the blame to anyone and anything other than themselves. It doesn’t matter what it’s about or how conclusively the evidence points to them. Now, it’s easy to look at this old man and realize he was 100% in the wrong and clearly see that he was trying to play the “blame game” here. However, it’s much more difficult to see that we are in the wrong when we begin shifting the blame.
One of the most blatant examples of the “blame game” in Scripture is Adam and Even in Genesis 3. After eating the forbidden fruit and being confronted by God, Adam turned and blamed Eve (vs. 12), and then Eve blamed Satan (vs. 13). Some jokingly wonder if Satan began looking around for someone he could blame as well. What God did in this situation was very telling. All parties involved were punished. All three had sinned and therefore all three deserved punishment no matter whose “fault” they thought it was.
It’s easy to blame someone or something else when we are in the wrong. Don’t play the blame game. It takes a lot of guts and maturity to admit you are wrong. Let’s seek to be people who take responsibility for our actions when we are wrong.