A lady was going about her business getting her shopping done. As she scanned over the fresh produce, 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 a rather insensitive statement, “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 don’t keep up with all the latest fashion, but I’m pretty sure steel-toed boots aren’t very popular for women right now, nor have they ever 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 have almost always tried to shift the blame away from themselves. This excuse is as old as time. For example, one of the most blatant examples of the “blame game” in Scripture is found with 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 have jokingly wondered if Satan began looking around for someone he too could blame. 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.