“The Blame Game”

This Week’s Meditation: “The Blame Game”
Read: Romans 12

This week I read this funny email pun. it said…
“Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City: The flight attendant came on the intercom and said, “That was quite a bump and I know what ya’ll are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendants’ fault, it was the asphalt!”

It made me laugh but it also made me think about how easy it is to cast blame on others instead of being accountable and responsible for our own shortcomings. The world likes to play the blame game and often shirk responsibility if it means that pain, hardship, or even punishment might come into our lives.

Romans 12 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” It also goes on to share many helpful insights into grace, mercy, responsibility, and love for others. Verse 3 says, “Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought.” In other words, be quick to acknowledge when you mess up.

In a couple recent online articles Ron Edmondson shared 5 wrong ways to respond to criticism and five healthy ways to respond to criticism. I found these very helpful in thinking about the subject of grace, repentance, and forgiveness.

Ron says that 5 wrongs ways to respond to criticism are:
1. Finding fault with the critic, instead of admitting there might be validity to the criticism.
2. Blaming others, and not being willing to accept responsibility.
3. Throwing back criticism and finding fault in others.
4. Ignoring an opportunity to learn.
5. Appeasing. Trying to satisfy all the critics.

He then shares 5 healthy ways to respond:
1. Consider the source before reacting or responding.
2. Listen to everyone. Don’t dismiss someone because you may not like them or agree with them totally.
3. Analyze for validity. Is the criticism true?
4. Look for common themes. Is this a trend I am hearing?
5. Give an answer. Criticism is often a question. Respond in love even if you don’t have an answer.

If you would like to read more about what Ron Edmundson has to say you can read both of these articles if you click here.

As Christians we have no reason to play this game along with the world. Why? Because we have the forgiveness of Jesus waiting on us when we mess up. Instead of blaming others or trying to get out of embrassing ourselves or not being accountable, just take it to Jesus. Be responsible for your mistake (repent) but know that Jesus has paid the ultimate price to forgive you for it!

Make it personal: Have you been criticized this week? Have you messed up this week? Read Romans 12 and consider how Jesus wants you to respond. Once we learn that blaming others only prolongs our pain and heartache we will be able to move on in the hope and grace that is ours through Jesus Christ.

Have a blessed week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life
Arthur Mennonite Church