Thursday, August 21, 2014

It's Your Fault! Or Maybe...

I was sitting in a school cafeteria today with one of my children.  During our lunch together, I noticed these boys started picking on a little girl.  It wasn't anything severe, but I could tell it made her uncomfortable.  After watching this for a moment I was about to tell the boys to leave the little girl alone, but a teacher walked up and quickly put an end to it.  She told the boys they were in trouble for their behavior.  Then, when the teacher walked off, one of the boys turned to the other one and said, "Hey man!  It's your fault that I'm getting in trouble!"  I laughed to myself when I saw that.  Kids will do that sort of thing at times to get out of trouble and make themselves feel a little better.

"It's your fault!"

We sort of expect that from kids.  But the reality is adults do the same thing.  People mess up and lay the blame at the feet of someone else.  It seems to be easier to blame others rather than to accept personal responsibility for mistakes and poor choices.

"It's your fault!"

Remember the sin in the Garden of Eden?  Adam blamed Eve.  Eve blamed the serpent.  The blame game has been around since the very beginning.

James 1:14 tells us "each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed."  In this verse, the half-brother of Jesus Christ reminds us all that our wrongdoings are our fault.  We fail morally when we do not manage ourselves well.

It's important to keep in mind that we are responsible for ourselves.  When it's all said and done, whatever we do is all on us.  It's because of our own foolish decisions and selfish behaviors that we suffer tough consequences.  Never can we blame other people for our sin.

When I do wrong, it's my own fault.  When you do wrong, it's your own fault.  That's just the plain truth.

When we take personal responsibility for our wrongdoings we begin the journey towards healing and restoration.  The first step in recovering from a foolish, immoral blunder is to say, "I did wrong and it is my fault."  This facing of the truth enables us to start the process of recovery.  And this proves that genuine change is taking place within our heart and mind.

I hope those little boys didn't get in too much trouble.  And, more importantly, I hope they'll be nice to that little girl from now on.  Most likely, they'll learn and get along just fine in the future.

But more importantly, I hope we all remember this:  You and I are responsible for ourselves, regardless of our circumstances and regardless of what others around us may do or not do.  Our decisions and behavior are ultimately on us.

Let's take personal responsibility for what we say and do.   

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