Friday, April 20, 2012

The Blame Game

I was online reading my hometown newspaper a few weeks ago, and saw this headline, "Drivers looking to place blame for higher gas prices." While I understand the frustration with increasing fuel costs, I think it is symptomatic of a larger problem. We are looking for a way to shift responsibility for our poor life choices onto someone else.

Unfortunately, the concept of assigning blame for our life circumstances has become a common pastime. There is a continual shifting of responsibility for unfavorable results that has permeated our culture. When our jobs are less than satisfactory we blame poor bosses and leadership. Our anger and addictive habits are charged to how we are treated by other people. When our children make poor choices they point their finger at friends and family. When a marriage is on the rocks it is the fault of our spouse. Any dysfunction in our family today is a result of how we grew up and the poor example that was set for us.

It's as if figuring out who we can blame for our life conditions will make us feel better (it doesn't) by giving us a target with whom we can be angry. This is simply a defense mechanism that fools us into ignoring the contributions our own choices have made to our situation. It prevents us from honestly assessing our character and decision making, and will only lead to another generation of people who are not wise enough to take responsibility for their own choices. It creates impotent lives that will never improve beyond their current level of maturity and will not truly resolve any conflict. 

Most significantly, it leaves no room for honest interaction with God as He works to transform our flawed character into His likeness.