Finger pointing is hard-wired into our hearts. In fact, it started early in human history. Like, really early.
(Painting by Domenichino. Public domain)
In the Garden of Eden, God confronted Adam and Eve after they sinned, and their reaction set the course for an entire race of blame-shifters.
We’re still shifting the blame (and getting blamed).
The solution is the same today as it was then.
It Takes Three to Play the Blame Game
After the Lord confronted Adam, he quickly pointed elsewhere:
The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate. (Genesis 3:12)
After the Lord confronted Eve, she quickly pointed elsewhere:
The serpent deceived me, and I ate. (Genesis 3:13)
Three players (not counting the serpent). Two losers.
We Blame Ourselves Last
Adam shifted the blame to Eve (and to God). Eve shifted the blame to the serpent.
It’s always easier to finger point when we make the choice to sin.
While these may play a part in influencing us, the final decision to sin lies squarely on our shoulders.
In spite of the devil’s temptation and another’s influence, God held Adam and Eve responsible for their own sins.
Blame, Shame, and God’s Solution
Blame is rooted in shame. We feel shame at our sin and grab a pile of fig leaves to cover us. The solution didn’t work.
But God’s solution to their sin and shame came only by God eliciting a confession from the sinners: “I ate.” The Lord then provided a sacrificial death on their behalf, atoning for their sin, removing their shame (Genesis 3:21).
Nothing has changed.
God’s plan for removing our guilt and shame involves removing the sin that caused it. (Tweet that.)
Fig leaves won’t cover our shame. In other words, when we recognize our sin and receive God’s provision through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, we have the forgiveness we craved when we shifted blame to somebody else.
With no sin, there’s no need to feel shame.
And no need to blame.
Adapted from Wayne Stiles, “The Devil Made Me Do It?” Insights (July 2005): 1-2. Copyright © 2005 by Insight for Living. All rights reserved worldwide.