One of the key features of the narrative in Genesis 3 is the introduction of BLAME.
We see it first in the way that Adam responds to God’s question in v. 11: he blames his mistake on both God and Eve at the same time. — ‘The WOMAN whom YOU gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.’
And then, we hear Eve cast the blame further down to the serpent — ‘The serpent tricked me, and I ate.’
Unfortunately, we are sons of Adam and daughters of Eve. We, too, are prone to blame others, instead of admitting our mistakes and taking responsibility for our behavior.
Blame is a classic defense mechanism, and it is unhealthy.
It is unhealthy for us because we live in denial and fail to let God straighten out our distortions. (We shouldn’t conceal our mistakes. We should confess them and clean up any mess they have caused. — Proverbs 28:13)
It is unhealthy for our relationships with others because it erodes trust, which is the bedrock foundation of our relationships. Do you think Eve lost some trust in Adam after he threw her under the bus?
It is unhealthy for our mission in this world because it’s impossible to do good teamwork in a culture of blame. When people around us like to play the blame game, we seek to hide our mistakes instead of learning from them. We already do enough hiding; we don’t need any reason to do more.
We should also take note that Satan is the Accuser while the Holy Spirit is the Advocate (compare Zech. 3:1-2; Revelation 12:10 vs. John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7). Do we want to embody the works of the devil or be enlivened by the Spirit?
Satan’s accusations are overcome by the grace of God in Christ. Maybe we too can stop the cycle of blame by the grace of God in Christ? From the very beginning, we have excelled at placing blame. May God, in his mercy, prune us of that habit.
TODAY’s PRAYER: Pray to the Vine-grower. Pray that He would show you when and where you place blame on others and on circumstances. Pray that He would prune you of that habit. Pray for strength to admit mistakes, take responsibility, and live in grace instead of blame.
One other thing regarding blame: we not only do this as individuals, but also as a larger society. When we do it in larger groups, it’s called scapegoating. i.e., we’re all uncomfortable with how things are going and we look for a scapegoat. As we place all the blame on the scapegoat, the rest of us feel better. … Jesus, in his death as the lamb of God, is supposed to be the end of all scapegoating. For more insight into that, listen to the last 10 minutes of this amazing conversation between Robert Harrison & Christopher Lydon, as they talk about the work of Rene Girard — listen online or on Apple podcasts.