“And he said, Who told thee that thou wast (were) naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.”Genesis 3:11-12
I have never met anyone in my life who gave me more problems than me. I have had enemies from all walks of life, and I have met some who sought my demise. I gave these people plenty of ammunition as my character was not always stellar. I spent a lot of time defending myself and actions, but in most cases, there was no one person more than myself who sought to do me harm. I made decisions that did not always work out well, and I had no problem blaming others for my irresponsible actions and behaviors. My dad would tell me, “you can blame others for your actions, but you ultimately pay the price for them”. I dismissed his words at the time, but they ring loud and clear in my ears the older I get.
My cousin came to live with us when I was in grade school, and I remember that she was quite a handful. It helped me a little bit when she moved in as it moved the spotlight off of my antics and onto hers. My sister was well behaved for the most part, and I was quite the opposite of her. My parents sought to do what was best for my cousin and even paid for her to go to a private school that was different than the one we attended. She did not have a father-figure in her life and my dad did his best to fill the role. I remember my cousin getting into trouble quite often, and I remember some of the spankings she received. She was not used to this type of discipline, so there was some growing pains that our family went through. I liked her for the most part, and we always got along well.
I remember one instance when I saw my cousin walk across the living room, and I noticed she was trying to conceal something behind her back. Our house was quite small in those days, so it was hard to conceal anything. My dad also noticed that my cousin was trying to be sneaky, so he called out to her and asked what she was hiding. Her face turned red and her voice cracked, and she quickly exclaimed she was not hiding anything. She turned around to show her other arm and it was clear she simply put the item back into her other hand. My dad got up and noticed she was trying to hide a small radio that she was not allowed to have. My dad opened up the cassette deck only to reveal a rock tape that was forbidden in our household. My cousin knew this as well, which explained why she was trying to hide it in the first place. My dad was going to ask her where the tape came, from but my cousin beat him to the punch and cracked like Humpty Dumpty when he fell from the wall. She began to spill who gave her the radio and the cassette, and she quickly distanced herself from that which was forbidden.
My cousin took no responsibility for anything but placed the entire blame on her friends. My dad did not fully believe her story, but he did approach the parents of my cousin’s friends and told them what my cousin had told them. I am not sure how my cousin’s friends felt about her after my dad busted the case wide open, but I quickly learned that my cousin could not be trusted. She made the decision to accept the tape deck and tape, but she blamed everyone but herself. I knew this scenario quite well as I had tried this tactic many times in my young life. I would blame my sister, my teachers, and sometimes even my friends. This scenario was introduced into the world when Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. If we are to have victory over sin in our lives, we must take responsibility for the sins we commit against God and others. We must not place the blame on others, but we must look in the mirror and accept full responsibility for our actions. We are the ones responsible for our actions, and God will judge us for what we have done on this earth.
Where are you today friend? Do you blame others for your actions? Do you take responsibility for your sins or do you blame others for your actions? Do you blame your upbringing, your boss, your spouse, or your circumstances, or do you ask God to search your heart? Psalm 139:23-24 states, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” May we focus on our own sin, and may we always take responsibility for our actions. God will not hold our circumstances or other people accountable for our sins, but He will hold us accountable for the sins we have committed. We can always find someone to blame, but may we be real with God and with ourselves.