Sunday, January 14, 2007

the eternal blame

"The woman you gave me…"..."The serpent tricked me… "

During my teenage years when I was training to be an insufferable jerk, in the middle of an argument with my mom I’d snap back, “Hey, I didn’t ask to be here”—meaning that all my problems in life, which at the point had mostly to do with school dress codes and raging hormones, were the result of my parents deciding on a third child. All my issues were conveniently blamed on them for having that little of bundle of joy: me. If I weren’t here, I would have no problems. My mom would answer that existential conundrum with this: “Well, I didn’t ask to be here either, so don’t give me any lip.” We were the Simpsons of Kentucky. The truth was, I was unwilling to accept responsibility for my behavior. I was a blamer.

What’s worse, it’s easy to carry that in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways into our spiritual lives. One day a guy dropped in the Vineyard and told me he’d been “fighting a Jezebel spirit all day” that was causing problems for him. I told him he needed to get a job.

Truth is, I still wrestle with blaming after 32 years of following Jesus. And it may be that owning responsibility can be trickier in a high grace environment. Maybe.

Liberals blame neo-cons. Republicans blame Democrats. Arabs blame Jews. Calvinists blame Arminians. Donald blames Rosie. Evangelicals blame everybody. I like what Christian apologist/philosopher G. K. Chesterton wrote in response to an article in the London Times titled What’s Wrong With the World? In a letter to the editor he simply said, Dear sirs, I am. Yours truly, G. K. Chesterton.


People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed? (Proverbs 19:3 Message Bible)


  1. Lack of humility. Been there. Do it too long and God knocks you off your high horse.

    Then you can either choose to learn from this dreadful thing, or yet again... blame God.

    Someday when I grow up, I hope I've learned.

  2. Dave,

    Thank you for doing this series. The lie from last week, "Those who fail (including myself) are unworthy of love and deserve to be punished." Really hit me dead between the eyes.

    Take care,

  3. I once saw the best bumper sticker while driving:


    I lost it.

    Also, when you point the finger, there are three pointing right back at you (Look at your hand when you point).

    Good Stuff DW.

  4. I enjoyed your post, especially your scripture.

  5. A few of my friends and I had lunch last week after the 11:30 service... it was either funny or frightening how many times one of us said something and the rest of the table yelled "BLAME!" You've given me much to think about.

  6. you know Dave, I was feeling pretty good about myself last week, until I felt guilty about failing that little quiz of yours!

    Thought you of all people could appreciate that.

    a person who attends at least 3 out of every 4 Sundays.

  7. I cannot thank God enough for caring enough for me to shine more light into my wounded soul so that the darkness leaves and frees me. I've truly known and pursued God all my life, but never really experienced this type of freedom. WOW! I'm blown away...

  8. The one-and-only Johnny Cash: "Hurt".

    He was a classic.