June/July 2019 - Vol. 104
couple playing the blame
Saying No To The Blame Game.

by Tom Caballes

  “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” - James 4:6 ESV

When things go awry in life, it is so easy to start pointing fingers at others. We look at possible culprits of why the things went haywire, and the last person we look at is ourselves if we ever do that. We tend to feel we are always victims of people and circumstances and it is never our fault– and by thinking this way, we are not able to resolve challenges, learn, and move on well.  Many disagreements, divorces, and conflicts could have been avoided if we all look at ourselves first and not find scapegoats. Blaming others is a copout to what God wants us to do in our lives, which is to take personal ownership and responsibility for our lives.  It blinds us from accepting our own mistakes and changing for the better. Blaming also causes a lot of strife and disunity within a family, with friends, at work, or in the Christian community. How often do you play the blame game?  

So How Do We Avoid the Blame Game and Take More Responsibility for Our Lives?     

  1. Develop a habit of humility when we approach challenging situations.  Instead of thinking first about how others contributed to the bad situation, look first at ourselves and how we affected the situation negatively. Stop being defensive; humbly admit your faults. If others did not perform their role well, let us look first if we did our job well or not. This is a habit to some that need to be slowly removed from their lives. 
  2. Stop making excuses about your life and move on. We can choose to blame every single bad thing to everyone – our parents, bosses, leaders, society, and so on. Making excuses justifies our negative situation in life – and we stay there. We box ourselves from growing. If people abused and hurt us in the past, we need to reconcile with them, forgive them from the heart, and carry on in life by taking ownership of our direction in life. Don’t carry any resentments and hurts in life; these things tie you up from being free to live out your life well fully.
  3. Look at the bad situation as a learning experience: how can I grow in character in this failure? What can I do the next time to avoid repeating the same situation? How can I become more loving through this experience? 
  4. If the situation is clearly the fault of another person, be gentle and sympathise. Be compassionate and respectful to everyone; you are not perfect, just like everyone else. The next time things do not work out well, it might be your turn to be the party at fault. Treat everyone as you wish to be treated. 
  5. Have a team spirit at home, in school and at work. You are always a part of a team – you are not there to prove how good you are to others and that you never make a mistake. Sometimes there is that desire to appear faultless in front of others. In all situations, aim to be loving and stop blaming. 
  6. The habit of blaming others comes from pride, arrogance, self-righteousness, and laziness.  It is much easier to point fingers at others than for us to change. But the habit of blaming others is very destructive to families, friendships, and communities. If you have that habit, start uprooting it before it damages your most significant relationships in life. Reclaim your life by taking ownership of it. 
Other Scripture passages:
  1.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 ESV)
  2. The reward for humility and fear of the LORD is riches and honour and life. (Proverbs 22:4 ESV)
  3. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.(Luke 14:11 ESV)
  4. Other Bible verses:  Proverbs 11:2; Philippians 2: 3-4; 1 Peter 5:6; and Colossians 3:12
For personal reflection or group sharing
  • When things do not go well with you, do you look for scapegoats or do you look at how you can do better? 
  • How can you improve in the area of taking personal responsibility and stopping the blame game?  
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.


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