Christians and the blame game

This is one of the biggest issues I’ve seen that no Christian ever talks about.

James 1:12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has [m]been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted [n]by God”; for God cannot be tempted [o]by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin [p]is accomplished, it brings forth death.

Some Christians blame God for their temptation and faults which is true and easy to spot out according to James. It’s usually our own lusts and desires that tempt us to go astray from God. We’re good enough at screwing things up ourselves as it is.

However, when we’re talking about the devil, deception, and temptation, there’s only a few unique circumstances in the Bible where Satan actually tried to deceive someone: Adam and Eve and Jesus fasting are the only ones that come to mind.

One of the big issues that we as Christians like to do nowadays is play the blame game. If we say that someone else played a part in our sin, we like to partly or even fully absolve ourselves of the responsibility that it was our fault that we got into a situation and screwed up. Our fault becomes their fault. This is antithetical to the gospel where we are sinners in need of a Savior.

In this case, even Satan becomes one of our scapegoats: Satan deceived me so it was his fault and not mine. It is often the case that it’s just us screwing up and were too prideful to admit it and want to play the blame game on the Satan. It’s crazy, but Christians actually scapegoat Satan in these circumstances. He’s evil for sure, but it was you screwing up and wanting to blame him for it. God isn’t going to blame Satan for your screw up. He’s going to come to ask you to give an accounting. Recall that God still held Eve accountable for her sin, even though she was deceived. She still knew not to eat of the tree. Being deceived into doing something wrong does not mean you get a free pass to blame someone else.

Pride blinds us to our own faults, especially when we try to scapegoat someone else for our wrongs. This is especially true in marriages where usually both parties are at fault in some matter, but each person is blaming the other or blaming their past or blaming deception.

“The devil made me do it” ain’t no excuse at all.

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21 Responses to Christians and the blame game

  1. Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and James. The trilogy of “practical truths” part of the Bible. They are rigorously ignored by most Christians because they leave no “wiggle room” for sin & rationalization of that sin.

    Sin is always Choice -> Action. Few will to admit they chose the sin.

  2. Ame says:

    my mom has flippantly blown off all her ills due to ‘generational sin.’ she has since come back and apologized for a the terrible things she did to me as my mom. she didn’t list them all for which i am deeply grateful b/c every time she has, she tells me something else i didn’t remember. some things are best left forgotten. that didn’t change how she is towards me, though i admit i had a tiny hope that i might finally have a Mom after that. but, alas, a zebra is not likely to trade in its stripes. still, it did offer a huge comfort that it wasn’t ‘all in my head’ as she raised me to believe. i think she still hides behind the ‘generational sin’ thing. i guess that when you’ve done that many bad things in your life you have to find some way to live with yourself? idk.

  3. Oscar says:

    @ DS

    You might want to reword this statement.

    … there’s only a few unique circumstances in the Bible where Satan actually deceived someone: Adam and Eve and Jesus fasting are the only ones that come to mind at the moment.

    It looks like you mean that “Satan actually deceived” Jesus when he was fasting.

  4. stickdude90 says:

    The next time someone tells you “The devil made me do it”, remind them of the story of Job – a case where the devil was very much trying to make Job “do it” (curse God) but without success.

  5. @ Oscar

    Oops. Good catch. I meant tried to deceive.

  6. CShort says:

    Blaming someone else has been a tactic from the very beginning as Genesis 3:12-13 points out. Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the Serpent. God wasn’t impressed by it then, but people keep trying the same excuse over and over again.

    I think the fallacy of being tempted by God is a slightly different thing though. Not everyone that erroneously says this succumbed to temptation. In my personal experience, most you say this actually successfully resisted the particular temptation they’re discussing. I tend to associate this more with the mindset of a Pharisee proclaiming his righteousness for following the rules.

  7. donalgraeme says:

    Actually, those books also make reference to inadvertent sin too. However, such sin is not the same thing as sin brought about by deception.

  8. earl says:

    a case where the devil was very much trying to make Job “do it” (curse God) but without success.

    And don’t forget…his wife was trying to make him do it too.

    I think Job is one of the few OT stories (that I can remember)…where he stood up to his wife when she was trying to convince him otherwise.

  9. SirHamster says:

    > I think Job is one of the few OT stories (that I can remember)…where he stood up to his wife when she was trying to convince him otherwise.

    “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

  10. seventiesjason says:

    Job of course was right…..but look…Job’s wife….may I remind you that she had lost everything too being married to Job. It wasn’t as if she was just standing there…nothing happened to her…and Job is suffering and she stands over him saying “just blame God and move on”

  11. earl says:

    ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God and not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

  12. seventiesjason says:

    Well, in that case, Job chose foolishly for a wife…he should have better vetted and selected a wife who would have accepted everything as he did.

  13. @ seventiesjason

    You can’t vet for a situation where all your possessions were stolen, all your children died, and you come down with terrible health.

    Let alone wives, most ‘Christian’ men nowadays would hate God too.

  14. cshort says:

    @seventiesjason @deepstrength

    Not only would most people today, Christian or not, curse/abandon God over that type of circumstance, Job was picked out specifically because he was above and beyond in faithfulness. Everyone else of the time wouldn’t have reacted the way his wife and friends did. After all God said there were none like him on the earth.

  15. seventiesjason says:

    Okay. I agree with your reply Deep in principle. I admire Job…..I doubt I would have stood as he had. I pray that I may……I strive towards and for the abilties to stand in my faith…….I was responding to Earl indirectly……..I don’t deny Job was indeed that upstanding before God, none like him……I just find it odd that he would have friends and wife who faltered quickly that’s all.

    Every Christian I have met claims they would.

  16. seventiesjason says:

    would be like Job. Let me be clear on that. I pray that I am that strong, but at this time I know I am not. Bummer for me

  17. cshort says:

    @seventiesjason

    The problem is that there’s not a good timeline in the book of Job. Under certain Jewish traditions each day of meeting mentioned would occur on the Jewish new year. So when Job would have been suffering from the raids on his property for a year before his suffering with sores had his wife tell him to curse God and die.

    Also, from commentary on Job 2:12-13 – They did not recognize him. Since they were still some distance off, this does not mean that they thought he was someone else; they could already see how different he now looked from the person they had last met. Cf. Isaiah 52:14; 53:3. The conventional gestures of grief, ripping the outer garment and flinging dust into the air so that it fell on the head,29 accompanied by wailing, need be no less heartfelt because they followed etiquette.

    The same applies to their joining him on the ground. This would not have been possible if Job had been an outcast in the technical sense. If Job were a leper, such an act of identification would be matched only by the compassion of Jesus (Mark 1:41). Seven days was the statutory period of mourning for the dead; but it would be too literal to infer that the three considered Job as good as dead. Ezekiel sat down stunned for seven days when he met the exiles (Ezek. 3:15). Here there is a similar reason: they saw that his suffering was very great.

    Francis I. Andersen, Job: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 14, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1976), 100-101.

    Keep in mind that Job isn’t considered one of the histories in the OT and as such can’t be taken with any literal timeline or period of history for the events described.

  18. Ame says:

    the story of Job intrigues me … probably for the same reasons it intrigues most Christians … but also b/c i went thru a very long and very, very hard season during which many compared me to Job. i wanted to know why, so i studied it some.

    In Job 27, Job begins a long discourse justifying himself. He believes he doesn’t deserve all the ails that have come his way because he is a good man. And he tells God and his friends this. Job even goes so far as to say in Job 29:2 “I long for the years gone by when God took care of me,” as though God isn’t taking care of him anymore.

    His friends cower, all but one. Elihu steps up in chapter 32 and sets Job straight. I think it’s interesting to note what is written about Elihu in Job 32:4 Now Elihu had waited before speaking to Job because they were older than he. 5 But when he saw that the three men had nothing more to say, his anger was aroused. Sometimes when we’re older we get so caught up in crazy stuff, and it takes a younger person to step in and speak the truth; may we have ears to hear when this happens to us.

    Then, after Elihu rips Job’s reasoning apart, God steps in beginning at chapter 38. If Job thought Elihu was hard on him, he soon found out Elihu had nothing on God:

    Job 38: 1-3, “Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind: “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? Brace yourself like a man, because I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.” I think if you’re a parent you can relate to answering ‘from the whirlwind’ … it’s amazing how our sweet children can drive us to that place 🙂

    And then in Job 40:8 God says to Job, “Will you discredit my justice and condemn me just to prove you are right?” Whoa. I’m always sufficiently reprimanded when I let this verse sink in.

    Being sufficiently chastised for four long chapters, at the beginning of chapter 42 Job humbly responds to God’s discipline. Then Job replied to the Lord: “I know that you can do anything, and no one can stop you. You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ I had only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

    – – –

    – repentance is powerful. and sometimes it’s a long journey to repentance.

    – i don’t think anyone knows how they’ll respond to such tragedy and testing until they’ve gone through it. and sometimes we forget the little things are just as important as the big things … are we faithful in the seemingly little trials.

    – it is the testing and refining that defines a person: James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (sometimes i want to tell God that i think i’m ‘mature and complete’ enough 😉 ).

    – not every ending is like Job’s: Job 42:12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.

    – enduring a long season of suffering does not mean your suffering is over in this life.

  19. Ame says:

    an interesting thought i just had …

    what if Job’s wife had just said, “Life’s too hard … why don’t we just end it and die,” rather than, “Curse God and die.”

    is it the “Curse God” part that makes what she said so cold and cruel?

  20. earl says:

    is it the “Curse God” part that makes what she said so cold and cruel?

    Yes that’s the foolish talk.

  21. earl says:

    The flip side of that is Adam basically blaming God for his fault (listening to Eve). If there’s anything that should be stressed importance is that blaming or cursing God for your state in life isn’t going to make your state in life any better.

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